Iffley Road sports hall named after Olympian Acer Nethercott

first_imgAcer Nethercott, regarded by some as the best British cox of his time, will have phase one of the new Iffley Road Sports Centre named after him.He coxed three Oxford crews to victory over Cambridge in the Boat Race, steering the women’s boat in 2000, and the men’s boat in 2003 and 2005. He also won an Olympic silver medal and two World Championship bronze medals.Glynis Evans, Dr Nethercott’s mother, said, “The idea of naming the new Sports Centre building after Acer is awesome – to use a word that he himself would have used.”“It is a lasting source of comfort, as well as one of huge pride, to continue to hear of Acer’s lasting impact and I am deeply touched that the new Sports Centre will be named after him.”Dr Nethercott, who died 2 years ago, was not only a successful sportsman. He also excelled in his studies, gaining a first class degree in Physics and Philosophy before pursuing a masters and then a doctorate in philosophy of language.Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University, commented, “Acer was the model of a ‘scholar-athlete’, as he not only achieved incredible sporting success but also excelled in his studies at Oxford.”“Acer always strove hard no matter what he was aiming for. Consequently he succeeded on many levels, personal, academic and sporting,” said Andrew Triggs-Hodge, a friend and teammate of Dr Nethercott.“I knew him through his endeavour to be the best cox he could be, a restless mission of self-improvement. He was respected for his work ethic, admired for his skills, and loved for his humanity. He brought out the best in those around him, who in turn helped him to get the best from himself. A true role model sportsman.”Acer had been preparing for London 2012 when he was first diagnosed with brain cancer. “He’ll never receive recognition for the work he put into London 2012,” said Triggs-Hodge.“However, through the gifts towards the Acer Nethercott Sports Hall he will be remembered, an inspiration and role model. He will continue to be a guiding light, the role he felt was most rewarding.”The Acer Nethercott Sports Hall will be the first building to open as part of the £60 million redevelopment of the University’s Iffley Road Sports Complex.The project will expand the space currently available for the University’s nearly 90 sports clubs, as well as providing better facilities for members of the local community.Iain Dunn, a Univ fresher, told Cherwell, “First and foremost I’m thrilled that there’s going to be a much-needed redevelopment of the facilities at Iffley Road. It’s even better that Acer Nethercott’s achievements are being recognised in the process. Sports men and women should receive more recognition around the university. College halls are filled with alumni portraits, but so few of them are sports people.”Subsequent phases of the project will include an indoor tennis centre, a combined rugby and rowing training centre, and a new grandstand incorporating a cricket school.William Tilston, Merton Sports Captain, commented, “I think it’s a very fitting move by the University. Oxford churns through new students each year, but it is comforting to know that its brightest sparks, and those tragically lost too soon, don’t get forgotten. He has set all Oxford sportsmen and women a fantastic example of what can be achieved both in the boat and in the library.”Construction work on the new sports centre will begin once the University has completed its fundraising efforts. It is hoped that the building will be completed in 2016.last_img