'Our aim is to promote the understanding and active participation in sport and physical exercise, with the ultimate goal of producing good health and personal well-being.'
Nowadays, many people exercise purely for their health, not with the purpose of becoming fit for sport. This trend, which perhaps began with a few people jogging, has extended to the point where we have a proliferation of exercise classes and a tremendous increase in the number of people weight training, distance-swimming, and even walking as a means towards lifetime fitness.
Often working in conjunction with the Athletic Union, we provide beginners' courses as well as coaching support for University teams. We offer guidelines to all students, sports club members or otherwise, on fitness training, nutrition and other aspects of health. Over 40 exercise classes take place each week, some of which are specifically geared towards "newcomers to exercise" while others are for the fitter sports participant. Similarly, intramural leagues such as 5-a-side soccer, cater for everybody.
The University of Bristol has invested heavily in facilities for sport and exercise in recent years. Though they are on different sites, most are within or near the University precinct.
A £5 million centre opened in 2002. This facility, located on Tyndall Avenue in the main University precinct, houses a double court sports hall, a sports medicine clinic, large fitness suite (the 'Pulse') and exercise studios. The fitness suite has a free weights area attached to it. Inductions are required for all users, and any sports pass holder may receive information about diet, exercise and training.
The excellent University pool is attached to the Students' Union Building in Clifton. It is the home for several University Athletic Union clubs as well as offering recreational swimming and fitness training. Swimming courses and aquatic classes are held throughout the year.
A few minutes walk from the Stoke Bishop University Halls of Residence and just across the Downs, there are 38 acres of superb all year round playing surfaces. There are two artificial pitches (one water based) for hockey, soccer and club training. The facility is marvellous for tennis, there being a four-court indoor tennis centre and ten outdoor courts, four of which are floodlit. There is also an excellent pavilion with bar and catering.
The University has boathouses and rowing facilities on a lovely stretch of the River Avon at Saltford, halfway between Bristol and Bath.