UWC Atlantic College, an international college in South Wales, has begun construction on a multi-million pound sports facility, which will support the delivery of its pioneering experiential co-curricular programme.
The £4.5 million Moondance Sports Hall will provide a new space for the international students of UWC Atlantic College to work together to improve their health, fitness and wellbeing.
UWC Atlantic College is the founding school of the United World Colleges (UWC) movement and has worked to make education a force for peace throughout the world since the 1960s. The college educates more than 350 students from over 90 different countries each year, 55% of whom receive some form of financial support.
The sport hall’s construction has been part funded thanks to support from the Moondance Foundation, a charity supporting children, education, issues of poverty, medical research, the arts and humanitarian projects. Incorporating a sports hall, dance studio, changing facilities and café, the new building will provide enhanced facilities for the college’s curriculum and the UWC’s mission to make education a force for peace and a sustainable future.
As UWC Atlantic College is an international residential college, the facilities will also create a new social space for students outside of class time by offering an even wider range of options to keep fit, relieve stress and interact with friends.
Commenting on the decision to support the construction of the sports hall, Diane Briere de L’Isle, who established the Moondance Foundation with her husband Henry Engelhardt, said: ‘Our four children graduated from Atlantic College having gained tremendous understanding of the world around them and made lifelong friends from all over the world.”
“As parents we know that access to sports is such an essential component to the complete and successful development of young people, promoting health and wellbeing as well as teaching discipline and developing teamwork skills. The Moondance Sports hall has been designed to also serve as a wonderful meeting and relaxation venue for the students and is a fantastic addition to the Atlantic College campus,” said Diane.
The Moondance Sports Hall represents an extension to the UWC Atlantic College’s Outdoor Faculty – one of four co-curricular faculties students join upon arrival.
The Outdoor Faculty is an extension of the original vision of the college’s founder, German philosopher Kurt Hahn. Its purpose is to encourage personal challenge, service to others, initiative, leadership and teamwork. Engaging student activities include lifeguarding, kayaking, surfing, mountain walking, emergency first aid and climbing. Recreational sports catered for at the new hall will include basketball, badminton, indoor hockey, handball and dance.
At UWC Atlantic College, students divide their week equally between their IB studies and co-curricular activities. Students also play an active role in the college’s Sustainability Council that works continuously to develop the Sustainability Charter, which is fully acknowledged by the college’s management team, and regulates on everything from day-to-day student activity to assessing green credentials for school suppliers.
Accordingly, the Moondance Sports Hall will be built to BREEAM standards – the world’s longest established method for assessing and certifying sustainability in buildings. The facility continues UWC Atlantic College’s mission to inspire and equip students to work towards a more sustainable future.
John Walmsley, Principal at UWC Atlantic College, said: “Giving students a state-of-the-art environment in which they can develop their physical fitness will have a positive impact on mental wellbeing and the capacity to learn, while living the UWC mission of outdoor challenge and sustainability.”