Job search
Job Search

Facilities: Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel planned for Loughborough Uni

Former CEO of UK Sport John Steele became director of sport at Loughborough University in 2014 to lead an ambitious development programme. He tells Tom Walker how the new Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel is the last piece of the university’s ‘facility jigsaw’

by Tom Walker, Leisure Media | Published in Sports Management 2018 issue 2
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
John Steele
John Steele

Loughborough University has revealed plans to open an innovative new hotel, targeting elite athletes who visit and train at the university. Designed by David Morley Architects, the Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel (EAC) will feature 44 bedrooms and be located at the heart of the university’s extensive sports facilities, adjacent to the Paula Radcliffe Athletics Stadium.

Described as the first of its kind in Europe, the hotel will house 20 specially-designed altitude rooms, allowing athletes to “live high while training low”. The rooms will prepare visitors’ bodies for competition by improving their oxygen carrying ability as well as their maximum oxygen take-up.

Other athlete-centric facilities at the hotel include fully-accessible bedrooms – capable of accommodating para-athletes – a nutrition lounge, an athletes’ relaxation area and a seminar space for 30 people.

Where did the idea come from to set up a hotel for athletes?
Loughborough University is part of the national landscape for elite sport and one of six elite performance centres in the UK Sport network. The purpose of the centres is to have all the necessary support for athletes in one place.

At Loughborough, we have been building an ecosystem for elite sport for a while. We felt that an important part of the set up would be to offer bespoke, specialist accommodation to elite athletes – providing the correct nutrition and everything else they need. So the EAC is really the last piece of the jigsaw for us and we are very excited about it.

Tell us about the altitude rooms at the hotel
Many sports will take their athletes on altitude training camps, which usually means travelling abroad. We wanted to take the travel out of the equation and offer athletes the advantage of high altitude here.

There are only a handful of facilities in the world that can provide the kind of altitude rooms we will have. We’ll be able to simulate climatic altitude conditions up to 5,000m.

How it works is that we will be able to reduce the amount of oxygen molecules and increase nitrogen molecules in the rooms. The technology, provided by a company called Sporting Edge, allows us to inject an airstream of oxygen content into the rooms, which is either at 10 per cent or 7 per cent – depending on what level the athletes want to achieve.

The aim is to increase the blood’s red cell count – as red blood cells are the ones carrying oxygen to the muscles. Depending on the level of exposure, research tells us you can expect around a 3 to 5 per cent gain in performance. And as we know, sometimes a 1 per cent advantage can be the difference between finishing on the podium and not – so the gains can be considerable over a period of time.

Who will use the EAC?
The hotel will be used by a wide range of athletes. The UK’s national governing bodies can now use our facility, rather than being forced to set up camps abroad, and we will also look to attract professional sports teams in the non-Olympic and Paralympic sports. We also expect it to be of interest to individuals – serious athletes who are training for triathlons, endurance events or Iron Man competitions.

Are foreign athletes welcome?
Absolutely. While we work closely with UK Sport, Loughborough is a global sporting brand and we already have several nations utilising our research and our facilities.

We’re hoping to see athletes and teams from other countries use the EAC before competing in the UK and Europe – as well as organising their training camps here.

How will the EAC improve the UK’s elite sporting offer?
The UK has been developing its infrastructure of sporting facilities for decades now and the 2012 London Games were a great catalyst for taking that to another level. At Loughborough, we’re proud that we’re now recognised globally as having one of the most advanced ecosystems for elite sport.

For us, it’s not just about having cutting edge facilities – but also how they interact. We have students setting out on their journey in elite sport and we also have people like Adam Peaty, a multiple gold medallist who is at the height of his sport.

We also have an incredible diversity of excellence in all areas of elite sport – from nutritionists and conditioning coaches to physiotherapy, research and education – so you can see we have something that’s very difficult to find anywhere in the world.

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Sports jobs
Everyone Active
featured job

Swimming Teachers

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Job location: Nationwide


Lex Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Barnstaple, UK


Lex Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Erith, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

Salary: Up to £7.96 per hour
Location: Appleby-in-Westmorland, UK

Duty Manager

Mytime Active
Salary: £19,000 - £20,002 per annum
Location: Kent, UK

Insight Manager

Women in Sport
Salary: £32,000 - £35,000
Location: London, UK

Swimming Pool Duty Manager

Millfield School
Salary: Competitive
Location: Street, UK

Head Green Keeper

Mytime Active
Salary: £25,000 - £28,000 per annum
Location: Orpington, UK

Green Keeper

Mytime Active
Salary: Up to £18,000 per annum
Location: Orpington, UK


Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive rate of pay
Location: Chichester, UK
recruiting with sports management


Mytime Active
Salary: £21,000 - £24k
Location: Bromley, UK

Front of House Receptionist

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive rate of pay
Location: Burton upon Trent, UK

Recreation Assistant

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive rate of pay
Location: Burton upon Trent, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

Salary: Up to £10.20 per hour
Location: Ruislip, UK

General Manager

Salary: Up to £39,820 per annum
Location: Reading, UK

Sports Development Officer

Ashlyns School
Salary: Competitive
Location: Berkhamsted, UK

Duty Officer

Rubicon Leisure
Salary: £20,541 - £23,866 per annum
Location: Redditch, UK
recruiting with sports management

National Training Co-ordinator

Wheels for All
Salary: £20,384 a FTE of £25,480
Location: Warrington, UK

Reception Supervisor

Letchworth Sports and Tennis Club
Salary: £18,720 to £19,760
Location: Letchworth Garden City, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

Salary: Up to £10.20 per hour
Location: West Ealing, London, UK

Leisure Assistant

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: £7.90 - £8.45 per hour
Location: Kingswood, Bristol, UK

Assistant Sports and Leisure Manager

Away Resorts
Salary: Competitive
Location: Hayling Island, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

Salary: Up to £16,187 per annum
Location: Taunton, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

Salary: Up to £16,187 per annum
Location: Wellington, Somerset, UK
training with sports management

General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: West Hampstead, London, UK

Commercial Administration Support

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Worcester, UK

Assistant General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Bloomsbury, London, UK

Casual Recreation Assistants

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £6.15 to £8.21 per hour
Location: Kidlington, UK

Sports Centre Manager

Ecclesbourne School
Salary: Competitive
Location: Duffield, Belper, UK

Greens Keeper (Fixed Term)

Salary: Up to £21,460 per annum
Location: Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard) -Training Offered

Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum
Location: Ealing, West London
lifeguard jobs  Swimming Teacher jobs  apprenticeships jobs  recreation assistant jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  membership consultant jobs  Swimming Instructor jobs  general manager jobs  General Assistant jobs  duty manager jobs  fitness instructor jobs  Leisure Assistant jobs  Customer Advisor jobs  Club Manager jobs  Team Leader jobs 
More jobs

Catalogue Gallery

JP Lennard: Leading supplier to Commercial Swimming Pools, Leisure Centres, Health & Fitness Clubs, Hotels, Holiday Parks, Schools and Universities, supplying thousands of products directly into these sectors.
BSW: BSW is a manufacturer of sports floorings, sports mats, gym flooring, elastomer products for impact sound insulation and vibration isolation, anti-slip mats for securing loads as well as protective and separating layers.
More catalogues

Video Gallery

Tracking your workout effort just became effortless.
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness is the world’s fifth largest marketer and distributor of commercial fitness products to health clubs, community recreational centres, hotels, government, educational facilities and more.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

Dyaco UK launches the Johnny G Spirit Bike with first installation at Feelgood Fitness, Grantham
Dyaco UK has announced the official launch of the long-awaited Johnny G Spirit Bike to the UK, with the first installation in Feelgood Fitness in Grantham
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Property & Tenders

Location: Huddersfield
Company: Kirklees Active Leisure
Location: New Brighton, Wirral, Merseyside
Company: Wirral Borough Council
Location: Waterlooville Hampshire
Company: Horizon Leisure Centres
Location: Various Sites
Company: Porters Commercial
More properties & tenders

Diary dates

27-28 Mar 2019
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
24-25 Apr 2019
Business Design Centre, London, United Kingdom
05-10 May 2019
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland, Australia
08-09 May 2019
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
More diary dates