Court built created thanks to generous donation from UTC Heathrow partner CyrusOne
UTC Heathrow students have been burning off energy on a brand-new multi-sports court built on a previously inaccessible piece of land, thanks to funding from one of the school’s employer partners, CyrusOne.
The court, designed and built by local companies Apt Architects and PhoenixME, will allow students to take part in a variety of sports including basketball, football, volleyball and badminton, using new sports equipment and kit. Previously there wasn’t an adequate space for the students to play these sports.
Matt Pullen, EVP Managing Director, Europe at CyrusOne (and former basketball player) explains why the company, which has been working with UTC Heathrow on an industry-first project, felt it wanted to invest in the sports court.
“Having spent time at the UTC Heathrow over the last year, it struck me how few sporting facilities or outdoor recreation spaces there were on site for students,” he said.
“The positive benefits of exercise and outdoor space to improve concentration and focus on learning, as well as supporting mental health, are well documented and as such we felt a moral obligation to improve the facilities where we could for these talented and committed young people.”
An opening celebration held on Friday 7 October, saw the court come to life. The ceremony was attended by Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Becky Haggar-Kaikitis; Conservative MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, David Simmonds CBE; and Andrew Riley, Residents Association Chairman of the London Borough of Hillingdon; as well as proud members of UTC Heathrow and CyrusOne.
After speeches and ceremonial plaque unveiling by the mayor, two teams of students showed off their skills on the court with a nail-biting basketball match.
Executive Principal Wayne Edwards commented: “Since September this year, this facility is constantly in use. The students love this – they absolutely do. And I can only say thank you to CyrusOne for that. We are proud of the relationships we have built with employers and the way that this has now led to us being able to offer our students something they really needed. We have students here today excited to play and motivated to work together as part of a team.”
Councillor Becky Haggar-Kaikitis, Mayor of Hillingdon, added: “The London Borough of Hillingdon recognises the importance of growth in our younger generation. We are delighted that this new multi-sports court at UTC has been unveiled. This will provide our young adults with enhanced skills ranging from physical fitness, cognitive strategies and will increase team player skills.”
The generous addition of the court comes as an extension of CyrusOne’s partnership with UTC Heathrow and the creation of the Digital Futures Programme last year.
Designed to help address the data centre industry’s long-term skills gap, the Digital Futures Programme curriculum – a first for any UK school – is aimed at giving students essential knowledge and skills, and a vocational head start, for a technical career in the sector. CyrusOne is one of ten partners supporting the programme. Find out more here
Commenting on the value of the programme, MP David Simmonds said: “We know that the digital economy is creating roles that hadn’t even been thought of when this setting was established more than a decade ago. The fact that companies like CyrusOne are coming into this space to help young people take advantage of those opportunities is such a positive for our local economy and an opportunity for us to further improve the life chances of our young people across the country.”