Perth sports academy could launch future stars

© Phil Hannah
Students at Perth College's new Academy of Sport and Wellbeing.

A multi-million-pound sports academy which is expected to become a springboard for generations of professional athletes has been formally opened by deputy first minister John Swinney.

The new complex at Perth College offers students training rooms with top-of-the-range equipment, as well as a gym hall the size of six badminton courts.

The £6.5 million Academy of Sport and Wellbeing was designed with input from a range of sports’ national governing bodies.

College bosses hope to harness the legacy of last year’s Olympics and attract Scottish teams preparing for Tokyo 2020.

There has already been interest from national organisations hoping to use the centre for training.

Mr Swinney said: “I want every young person to reach their full potential and colleges have a crucial role to play in helping young people prepare for the world of work.

“The fantastic facilities on offer here will offer a range of learning and training opportunities that will help improve young people’s life chances.”

Principal Margaret Munckton said: “We are fully committed to providing our students with the best possible experience.

“The academy offers a range of opportunities, not only for sport, fitness, hair, beauty and wellbeing students who are based here, but also for cross college and wider curriculum use.”

She added: “As well as enhancing our students’ employment prospects and enhancing knowledge exchange, this new facility will contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of our student and staff community with gym membership and wellbeing treatments and clinics available.

“Our Academy of Sport and Wellbeing helps place Perth firmly on the map as a university city.”

As well as sports facilities, the centre boasts Scotland’s newest indoor climbing centre and has teaching rooms for hair and beauty therapy students.