Date of release: Friday, December 6, 2013

HRH The Princess Royal at the official openingHer Royal Highness The Princess Royal has officially opened a key Olympic legacy project in Greenwich.

The Equestrian Skills Centre, based at Shooters Hill, is a joint venture between Hadlow College, one of the university’s partner organisations, and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Professor David Maguire, the University of Greenwich’s Vice-Chancellor, was among the guests at the formal opening, which took place on Thursday (5 December).

Guests viewed the state-of-the-art equine rehabilitation and therapy facilities at the new centre, which include a hydrotherapy pool, spa and aqua-trainer. In addition, the centre has stabling for 20 horses, an indoor and outdoor school and a show jumping paddock.

In partnership with the university, Hadlow College offers a range of equine-based further and higher education programmes, including a BSc (Hons) in Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation. Full-time teaching commenced at the new site in September this year and it now has approximately 60 students across its three courses.

The centre is key to the Royal Borough’s aim of providing residents with access to first-class training and educational facilities through a number of specialist skills centres, and will also increase opportunities for all members of the local community to access equestrian activities.

Professor Maguire says: “It was a privilege to attend the opening of the centre and I was most impressed with the excellent facilities. It’s an exciting development and we’re proud to see our partner, Hadlow College, playing such a key role in bringing first-class training and education into the Royal Borough of Greenwich.”

The Royal Borough of Greenwich hosted the Olympic and Paralympic equestrian events during the London 2012 Games, with the university playing a part as an official host venue.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Director of Finance and Resources at Hadlow College, says: “This is a momentous occasion for Hadlow College and we are delighted to have worked in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich in creating this equestrian Olympic legacy. It is very fitting for The Princess Royal to formally open the centre, and the students will remember this day for many years to come.”

Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Chris Roberts, adds: “This is about creating landmark centres of excellence in the borough where our residents can gain skills and qualifications in specialist areas, and have a real chance of making a good career after their training. We’re delighted to have the expertise of the outstanding Hadlow College running this centre.”

Story by Public Relations

Picture: HRH The Princess Royal at the official opening. Picture: Brian Aldrich.