Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds triathlon facility named after Brownlee brothers

Composite image of facility Image copyright University of Leeds
Image caption The £5m facility is named after Alistair and Jonny Brownlee

Olympic triathlon stars Alistair and Jonny Brownlee have had a £5m university sports facility named after them.

The University of Leeds' Brownlee centre, dedicated to its most successful alumni athletes, boasts a one mile (1.6km) cycle circuit.

The site on Bodington playing fields also features a training suite, with physiotherapy and medical services.

Staff said it would provide world-class facilities in the region.

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Speaking at the venue, Alistair Brownlee, who won gold in the triathlon competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, said it was a "massive honour" to have the centre named after him, and brother Jonny.

"The circuit is brilliant for us because we can train hard without being on the open road," he said.

Image caption Alistair Brownlee said the facility would provide a safe place for people who were not confident riding on the road

He added that, more importantly, the circuit, could be used by people just getting into sport, or those who were not confident riding on the road.

The athlete, who studied sports science and physiology at Leeds, described the facility as a "real boost for both participation and elite sport in the area".

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Media captionJonny Brownlee made headlines when he was helped over the finish line at the Triathlon World Series in September by his brother Alistair

Jonny Brownlee, a Leeds history graduate who took the silver in Rio, said the circuit would benefit cyclists and other sportsmen and women of all abilities.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said the university was very proud of the brothers, and it was a fitting tribute to name the facility in their honour.

About £1m of funding for the project came from British Cycling, British Triathlon, Sport England and UK Sport, with the remainder provided by the university.

The circuit will be open to the public from 2 May, with a variety of sessions being offered for all abilities.

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