New home and new era for Derbyshire Institute of Sport

Published: 14 April 2021

Derby Arena

Derby Arena

A new era has begun for Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS). It has a new home at the iconic Derby Arena and has expanded its operations to work with athletes and team players across the country.

DIS was founded in 2012 and since then it has been based at the University of Derby’s Kedleston Road campus.

Managing Director Chloe Maudsley said:

We have had eight wonderful years working onsite with the university. They were a major, founding partner – alongside the city and county councils - when we began work as Derbyshire’s legacy project following the 2012 Olympics. We are so grateful to the university and founding partners for their support and unfailing belief in our mission.

The original DIS goal was to increase the number of Derbyshire-based, world-class athletes. Its target of developing 20 such champions by 2020 was achieved in February 2020. These champions included marathon runners Jessica Piasecki and Ben Connor who have BOTH been confirmed in Team GB for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. DIS also worked with hurdlers Alex Knibbs and Jess Turner; para badminton world number one Jack Shephard; heptathlete Niamh Emerson, who is world junior champion and is now being coached by Toni Minichello and Jessica Ennis-Hill, and five times world champion para cyclist Katie Toft.

When the pandemic arrived, DIS recognised there was a need to provide support for talented sportspeople who could no longer get to gyms or train with their local teams. During the lockdowns it has worked with athletes online, offering strength and conditioning classes, nutrition, psychology and lifestyle support and virtual physiotherapy screenings.

DIS, which became a community interest company in 2017, is continuing to work with elite individual athletes and is also now working with team sports players and amateur athletes who want to be a champion at any level.

Chloe said:

We are coming out of the third lockdown on a high with our move to Derby Arena, which has great facilities and enables an expansion to our work to develop, inspire and support people who want to be the best they can be at the sports they love.

DIS is following all Government guidance and working closely with the Arena to offer its athletes full membership of the Arena gym and face-to-face support from its world-class coaches in a Covid-secure way.

Chloe added:

For those who live further afield, we will continue to offer a package of 100% online support. This gives us the chance to help team sports players and individual athletes based anywhere in the world. Whether people choose a face-to-face or a virtual programme, they are all delivered by our multi-disciplinary team of experts who have supported Olympians, Paralympians and world champions.

Rachel North, Strategic Director for Communities and Place, said:

We are delighted that Derbyshire Institute of Sport has chosen the excellent facilities of Derby Arena for its new base. It is fantastic to see how we have achieved the vision of 20 elite athletes by 2020 and look forward to seeing the Arena play its part in building more world champions of the future. Now that our leisure centres can start re-opening again, we look forward to welcoming our athletes in person.

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