EDA alumnus and Karate world champion Wayne Otto opens new University of Kent sports facilities

Nine times world and European karate champion and EDA alumnus, Wayne Otto OBE, has officially opened the University of Kent’s new sports facilities.

Representatives from Canterbury City Council, local sports clubs, and young sporting stars from across the region attended an opening event which showcased the £4.8 million upgrade of facilities available to students and the general public.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony at the University’s Canterbury campus on Wednesday 25 September, Mr Otto who is also an EDA alumnus, paid tribute to the role the University’s sport facilities had in his journey to securing his world titles.

He said: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed my experience while studying at Kent and even back then I had access to sporting facilities which helped me progress in my chosen sport. However, the new facilities available are quite incredible. I’m delighted to see how far the provision has come and the opportunities for students and aspiring young athletes to excel in sport.’

The event was also attended by sisters and GB runners Bobby and Alex Clay, as well as Tiegan Aitken, Canterbury’s senior women’s tennis champion at just 12 years old, all of whom will have access to the facilities for their training through honorary memberships.

Graham Holmes, Director of Kent Sport, said: ‘We are delighted to officially open our superb new facilities which we’re sure will attract a broad spectrum of athletes, from people wishing to maintain their health and fitness through to local elite athletes who now have access to world-class training facilities for their chosen sport right on their doorstep.’

The upgrade features a new fitness suite with brand new cardio equipment for general fitness, wellness and rehabilitation, and high performance training. It also includes the addition of an extensive range of free weights, as well as four Olympic power-lifting platforms, and a new physiotherapy clinic.

A multi-purpose fitness and dance studio has also been built, to include popular Spinning, Zumba and Boxercise to the new class timetable. Alongside the sports centre facilities a new indoor tennis centre has been added.