By Freddie Bennett | Sport Editor
Cardiff University have announced plans for a new development of Llanrumney sport centre. With a greater range of facilities due to be constructed, this is an exciting time for the future of sport at Cardiff University.
Many students will be aware of the 33 acre Llanrumney Sport site as it is where many Athletic Union teams call home for BUCS fixtures and training. The facility currently houses only one third generation (3G) football pitch, alongside six football pitches, three rugby pitches as well as a few other facilities.
The lack of more all-weather 3G pitches has been an issue for the site as it means when the normal pitches are water-logged it has been difficult to keep games on.
Head of Cardiff University Sport, Stuart Vanstone, and his colleagues have been working hard over the last 18-24 months to get the new plans off the ground, gaining help from Cardiff Council and Cardiff City Football Club.
The new-look site will see an additional three 3G pitches added meaning that sport can go ahead not just on ‘’all weather but all floodlit pitches’’, Vanstone said. With light being an issue in the winter months the presence of floodlights will enable sport to continue as normal.
This exciting future for university sport means that fewer games will face the annoyance of abandonment and teams, Vanstone assures, will be able to ‘’regularly train and play sport’’.
These new plans do not just involve the university sports teams. With the addition of many more training and playing facilities, Cardiff City FC have got 16 acres of the site on a long term lease. This is so that they can relocate their academy setup to the Llanrumney site.
The link-up with Cardiff Council and Cardiff City FC has enabled the development to come into fruition. Vanstone felt ‘‘it wouldn’t have been possible’’ without the team effort from the local council and football side.
With student sports still in progress at the current Llanrumney site, Vanstone wanted to assure those involved in sports teams that there are no disruptions planned as the new work will be phased. Meaning that the construction ‘’will not displace’’ any current commitments to sporting teams at the University.
The work itself is not underway just yet. There is still a long way to go before the work will be completed but Vanstone has said the team are ‘‘meeting with architects this week’’ to look at how the plans will come together.
However, these plans will not just impact university sports teams and Cardiff City FC. Much like with the current facility, students who do not participate in a university sport team will be able to reserve pitches which gives all students access to a fantastic range of facilities not far from Cardiff University.
The future developments will also positively impact the area. Vanstone mentions that there are a ‘’number of hours each week’’ which will be devoted to youth football and Sunday leagues. This will allow for the site to be well embedded in the local community and will provide a great space for the future of sport in South Wales to develop.
Overall, these exciting new plans for Cardiff University Sport will allow for future students, and many non-students to enjoy their sport in a range of brand new facilities. Sport is such an important part of university and local community life, so it is encouraging to see the team -work of the university, the local council and Cardiff City FC and I am sure there are many who are excited to see the results.