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Hon Grant Robertson Unveils Redeveloped Lincoln University Gym And Recreation Centre

Designed to be an integral part of Lincoln University’s celebrated student experience, the recently redeveloped Whare Hākinakina LU Gym was officially opened today by the Minister for Sport, Hon Grant Robertson.

At an unveiling ceremony, Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Bruce McKenzie explained that the redeveloped facility strengthened the University’s drive to deliver a distinctive and truly inspirational Aotearoa New Zealand end-to-end student experience.

“Students are our reason for being, and their experience while part of the Lincoln whānau is at the centre of everything we do.

“The upgraded services and facilities on offer at our new gym will deliver significantly enhanced opportunities for our tauira to work on their fitness, increase their social connections, develop new interests and nurture their physical and mental wellbeing.

“Located close to the heart of our campus, the new gym is the ideal complement to our inspirational learning, teaching and research programmes, as it supports and empowers our students to achieve academic and personal success.”

Lincoln University Students’ Association (LUSA) President Gregory Fleming endorsed the University’s approach to seeking input from students throughout the design phase of the gym redevelopment.

“Students felt included and empowered to be involved in designing a future-proof facility that will inspire and support students for generations to come. Our needs and preferences were incorporated at every step of the process, and that involvement is reflected in the new facility and the revamped services on offer,” said Fleming.

Professor McKenzie further stated that the enhanced gym facilities also championed the Lincoln campus as a thriving and vibrant hub for the wider community, and is a much-loved and well-patronised community asset.

“We see our Whare Hākinakina as a vital centrepiece of the Lincoln community.

“In fact our entire campus development programme, set to deliver a suite of new and redeveloped infrastructure assets over the next decade, will position Lincoln University to realise our vision of helping to shape a better future locally, nationally and internationally.”

Whare Hākinakina LU Gym is a renowned centre of sporting excellence where many of the nation’s highest-performing athletes head to sharpen their competitive edge, and is the cornerstone of Lincoln’s acclaimed sport and recreation study programmes.

Additionally, the University’s sport scholarships, offered since 1999, aim to balance sporting success with academic achievement, providing Lincoln student-athletes with well-rounded programmes to develop their physical, intellectual and personal performances.

The gym facilities include a new purpose-built RPM room, a digitally immersive workout space with surround sound and cinema-scale visuals, enlarged and modernised changing areas, all-weather multi-code artificial turf, indoor training track, dedicated yoga room, refurbished squash courts, multi-purpose training spaces, massage/physiotherapy services and several container-loads of imported fitness equipment.

A bouldering wall, secured through a fundraising drive led by the Lincoln University Tramping and Climbing Club, a student managed outdoors sports club, is a popular feature of the enhanced facilities and activities on offer.

Professor of Sport and Exercise Science Mike Hamlin said that Lincoln University already offers a wider range of sport and recreation study programmes than any other New Zealand university, and the redeveloped facilities will position the University’s specialist offering as an even more compelling proposition for prospective students.

“Our sport and recreation qualifications open up a world of career opportunities for our graduates in a vibrant and fast-moving industry, where qualified recruits are urgently needed.

“Our graduates typically leave Lincoln looking forward to an exciting and rewarding career ahead of them, with many and varied opportunities to apply their highly sought-after knowledge and skills within the public, commercial, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors.

“Many of our graduates are currently filling sport and recreation management roles all over New Zealand and overseas in areas like player management, injury prevention, sport development, community sport management, parks management, outdoor education, event management and sport management consulting, to name just a few.”

The long list of New Zealand sporting icons who are also Lincoln alumni is studded with household names like Olivia Merry, Jane Watson, Kendra Kocksedge, Lauren Bruce, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Robertson, Sam Whitelock, Richie McCaw and Angus Gardiner.

Central to the redeveloped Whare Hākinakina LU Gym’s high-performance ethos is its state-of-the-art Sport and Exercise Science Laboratory where athletes/coaches and scientists come together to understand why elite athletes achieve great performances, how their performances can be even further lifted, and ultimately how to translate this knowledge into winning outcomes for individual athletes on game day.

Mike Hamlin points out that further strengthening Lincoln University’s world-renowned sport and exercise science capability through upgrading the gym’s infrastructure will have significant flow-on benefits for the wider Lincoln community in pursuing their exercise and fitness aspirations.

“Our Sport and Exercise Science Laboratory is a ‘living lab’, and is in the unique position of being able to offer our own leading-edge research capability and hi-tech measurement equipment for the benefit of all our students, staff and members. The lab can provide fitness testing and health assessment services for everyone in our community.”

Prior to today’s formal unveiling, the new Whare Hākinakina LU Gym hosted a series informal open days, where Lincoln students, staff, gym members and the wider community were able to explore the enhanced facilities and sample many of the new services and specialised equipment on offer.

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