Jamie Hepburn MSP, Scotland's Minister for Sport, paying his first visit during the construction phase of Oriam, Scotland's £33 million sports performance centre at Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh Campus, donned his wellies and rolled up his sleeves to lay a block of the indoor pitch wall.
With around six months to go until the opening of the Centre, the Minister was joined by a number of Heriot-Watt student athletes, including Celtic women's star Stephanie Knox and Scotland Women rugby international Emma Wassell, as well as Mark Cowan, Head of Facilities from sportscotland, Heriot-Watt University Principal Professor Richard A Williams and Oriam Chief Executive Catriona McAllister.
The indoor Oriam pitch will be used by high performance teams from Scottish Rugby and the Scottish FA, as well as University and community clubs, and the full facility will be open to the public from the 29 August.
Oriam's partners the Scottish FA, Scottish Rugby, Basketball Scotland, Netball Scotland, Scottish Handball, Scottish Squash and Racquetball and sportscotland institute of sport will all use the facilities, including the high performance wing fully-fitted with strength and conditioning centre, hydrotherapy pool and medical rehab centre.
Jamie Hepburn MSP said, “I'm delighted to see the progress that's being made on Scotland's new national performance centre. Oriam represents a significant investment by the Scottish Government in the future of Scottish sport.
“This will not only be an excellent facility for some of our elite teams and athletes, it will also help to bring through the next generation, with university students and the local community being able to use the facilities. Indeed, it was a pleasure to meet some sportsmen and women from Heriot-Watt today, and I know they are excited by the prospect of being able to train and compete at Oriam when it opens later this year.”
Leading the way in practical support and development
Heriot-Watt University Principal Professor Richard A Williams said, “As this fantastic new facility nears completion we are looking forward to welcoming our top sports men and women, university staff and students and the wider regional community to Heriot-Watt.
“Just as we're proud to say that Heriot-Watt scientists, scholars and graduates are leaders in ideas and solutions, so Oriam is leading the way in practical support and development for the Scotland's leading professional sports communities.”
Oriam Chief Executive Catriona McAllister said, “Those involved in our partner sports are all extremely impressed with the development of this world class facility and I am very pleased that Scotland's Minister for Sport shares that feeling.
“One of the key aims of Oriam is to provide our top sportsmen and women with the facilities, access and support services pivotal for successful performance on the international stage. We are also determined to have a positive impact on University students and the local community by encouraging people to improve their fitness, take part in sport or simply enjoy an active lifestyle.”