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10th December 2010, 3:24pm  (updated 15th December 2010, 3:49pm)
England women’s football star kicks off celebrations at new-look Human Performance Centre
England footballer Susan Smith was special guest England women’s footballer Susan Smith was the special guest as the University of Lincoln's newly-expanded Human Performance Centre was officially re-opened.

The Lincoln Ladies star, who has won more than 80 caps for her country, unveiled a plaque to formally open the new-look facility on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool Campus on Wednesday 15th December.

The Human Performance Centre has been redeveloped thanks to a grant of almost £2m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

The HPC is home to the University’s Department of Sport, Coaching and Exercise Science and provides a regional centre of excellence for sport.

Its expansion has provided additional space for the University’s work in a range of specialist areas, including physiology, sports biomechanics, sports psychology, coach education and sports nutrition. It has also created the capacity for new learning opportunities and strengthens provision for excellence in research.

The University has a strong focus on community partnership and providing opportunities in sport, physical activity and well-being. It already works to develop the talent of many of Lincolnshire’s most promising young athletes and provides research and consultancy to improve health and reduce health inequalities.

The expansion of the HPC will enable the University to take this work to the next level and comes as Great Britain prepares for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, for which the University’s Riseholme Campus is a designated training camp.

Robin Wright, Director of Sport at the University of Lincoln, said: “The expansion of the Human Performance Centre opens up a unique new dimension for sports coach educators who work at the highest level in both teaching and research, as well as providing talented performers with the opportunity to excel in their particular sport.
“We are very proud that we can provide not only a higher education teaching provision of excellence but also a resource that can be used to develop athletes from our local communities through to renowned international performers. This is an exciting new development that enhances our London 2012 Olympic Training Camp status and represents one of the best sporting resources in the country.”

The evening before the official opening, the University of Lincoln hosted a special guest lecture by Professor Margaret Talbot, President of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education. The talk, ‘Facets of Human Performance’, considered social and political capital in sport, as well as physical and academic performance.

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