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University of East London gears up for Wonderful Wednesday of sport

PUBLISHED: 11:44 02 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:45 02 April 2014

Staff and students from the University of East London will be participating in a ‘Wonderful Wednesday’ of sport today.

UEL, which has an exclusive agreement to use the Zaha Hadid designed London Aquatic Centre from September, will be the first university in the country to officially test the waters of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic swimming venue.

Twenty-five staff and 25 students will have an exclusive swim in the pools that saw Rebecca Adlington win two bronzes and Ellie Simmonds win four medals, including two golds, at the Games.

20 of the university’s sports teams will also be competing against Middlesex University’s in a Varsity sports competition today.

Badminton, basketball, football, judo, netball, rugby, trampolining and volleyball are some of the sports that will be played with more than 500 students taking part and around 250 spectators expected to cheer them on. The majority of the sporting events are happening on campus at SportsDock and entrance is free.

In addition to all these events, UEL’s men’s basketball team is playing against Middlesex’s (which is not part of Varsity) and is one of two games they need to win to get into BUCS’ (British University and College Sport) premier division, a league they have risen up for the past five consecutive seasons.

Two players in the basketball team, captain Douglas Bennett and Blayne Freckleton, recently played for Scotland and England’s senior select sides, respectively.

For the first time UEL’s staff will play against Middlesex University’s in wheelchair basketball and tug of war.

David Cosford, UEL’s director of sport, said: “London 2012 had ‘Super Saturday’ and ‘Thrilling Thursday’, well this is our ‘Wonderful Wednesday’.

“Not only do we have exclusive use of an Olympic venue, one where we saw the lovely Tom Daley win a medal, hundreds of students are going to participating in UEL’s biggest sporting event of the year.

“We’re anticipating another win against Middlesex following victory against them last year. We expect loads of students to cheer their favourite teams to victory as we celebrate in a wonderful Wednesday of sport at the university.”

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