The United States Olympic Committee has designated three separate facilities on the Auburn University campus as official Olympic training sites. Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum, Watson Fieldhouse and the College of Education’s Kinesiology Building will display the Olympic rings this fall as Auburn assists the men’s and women’s USA Team Handball teams.
There are currently 18 Olympic training sites in the country, and of those only four are housed at universities.
“This designation brings together three enduring American brands – Auburn University, the United States Olympic Team and USA Team Handball,” said David Pascoe, the Humana Germany Sherman Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and a lead negotiator with the USOC on Auburn’s behalf.
Both men’s and women’s USA Team Handball members are a part of a long-term residency program at Auburn through the School of Kinesiology. This allows the school to provide expertise in assessment and performance of human movement, including biomechanics, basic and applied physiology, neuroscience, behavior, conditioning, health and motor learning and development.
“The United States Olympic Committee site designation will provide many research and outreach opportunities for our faculty and students in the area of sport optimization,” said Mary Rudisill, the Wayne T. Smith Distinguished professor and director of the School of Kinesiology. “We want to ensure that students who attend Auburn University’s School of Kinesiology receive the best training and the most exciting experiences available in the field. Offering hands-on experiences and working with the top athletes in the country is a great way to meet that goal.”
The Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum currently serves as the primary practice venue for USA Team Handball and the facilities at the Watson Fieldhouse are used for their weight training.
“The sites serve as the team behind the team, providing unique training and movement analysis for our athletes,” Pascoe explained. “This designation will be an important long-term recruiting tool for both athletics and academics. Our athletes will benefit not only from first-class facilities, but also from the one-of-a-kind applied science and research being done in our kinesiology laboratories. Top graduate students will also want to be a part of this experience, as our Kinesiology program is now ranked among the very best in the country.”
The official unveiling and dedication of the Olympic rings on Auburn’s campus is planned for the weekend of September 26 during the Auburn v. Mississippi State football game, coinciding with the College of Education’s centennial anniversary celebration.
“People across the country will want to connect with this unique collaboration of spirit, science and top training facilities,” Pascoe said. “In the 18 months they have been on campus, our USA Team Handball athletes have experienced dramatic performance improvements thanks to Auburn’s facilities, their coaches and the research support they have received. We’re very excited about this announcement and look forward to a great future.”
For more information on USA Team Handball go to:http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Team-Handball.