Since the demolition of Don Valley Stadium a worry has hung over Sheffield resident’s heads that any Olympic legacy would be missed in the city.
However, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield City Council have announced plans to make the reopened Woodbourn Road stadium the UK’s first to be fitted with technologies used at London 2012 to support Team GB.
The recently-renamed Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium is to be fitted with advanced systems that include such features as video tracking and timing.
Anyone using the facility will be able to utilise the technology, including running clubs and schools.
Design and installation of the equipment will take place in the next few months with the project set to start in the summer and run through to mid-2015.
Hallam University will provide £125,000 from its Higher Education Innovation Funds to the project, whilst Sheffield City Council is injecting £25,000 from its new Athletics Development Fund.
Other partners include Adidas, Nova International, The English Institute of Sport and the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, completing a total programme of £250,000.
Part of the funds will be allocated to provide a worker to promote the use of the stadium by local people and it is envisages the high-tech equipment could be replicated for use at other facilities across the city.
Professor Steve Haake, director of the research centre, said: “We had a really successful Olympics, working with 15 sports and helping to win 24 medals.
“We created video capture systems, smartphone apps and simple-to-use software to improve performance. We want to install them in Sheffield for everyone to benefit – an Olympic legacy if you like.”
Councillor Isobel Bowler, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, added: “It is great news that there is going to be £150k of funding for this new venture – especially given that part of the funding will provide for promoting athletics to the communities around the stadium.
“The partnership with Sheffield Hallam University and the city’s athletics clubs, which led to Woodbourn Road stadium being improved and re-opened as the Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium, is an excellent example of different organisations working together for the benefit of the city.
“I look forward to seeing this ground-breaking technology being put to good use here and across Sheffield in the months to come.”