Brownlees get Bodington base

£5 million Brownlee Centre will be the UK’s first purpose built triathlon training facility.

This year a new £5 million triathlon training base named after Leeds’ very own Brownlee brothers will open.

The University of Leeds’ Bodington playing fields will host the new one mile cycle circuit, which is one of the longest of its kind in the United Kingdom. This will be built at the Weetwood Pavilion, which is just over three miles from the University.

Cyclists of all ages and abilities, including students and staff at the University, and others in the community, will be able to use this six metre-wide cycle circuit for either recreation, coaching, or competition.

This will also be the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training base and will become the first permanent home for the Leeds Triathlon Centre. It will provide strength and conditioning, physiotherapy and support services to GB athletes based in Leeds.

£1 million of funding comes from Sport England, UK Sport, British Cycling and British Triathlon, with the rest provided by the University.

Alistair Brownlee, who graduated from the University of Leeds in 2010 with a degree in Sports Science and Physiology, said “This is a real honour. Having the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon centre in Leeds will ensure that the city continues to be a hub for triathlon. It brings together the facilities top athletes need in one place to create a world class training environment.”

At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Leeds alumni or current students made up the men’s triathlon team, as current student Gordon Benson who studies Nutrition joined the Brownlee brothers.

The Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands hopes that opening The Brownlee Centre will continue this trend. He said: “The University is extremely proud of Alistair and Jonny’s achievements and it is fitting that this unique world-class facility, which will inspire thousands of people to be more active, is to be named after two of our most successful sportsmen.

“Our graduates have dominated top level triathlon and cycling at various events, an achievement which everyone in Leeds can be proud of. Opening the Brownlee Centre and new cycle circuit reinforces our vision of becoming the number one provider of higher education sport and physical activity experience in the UK.”

Polly Hatcher

(Image: University of Leeds)

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