Sports Awards 2012: Sporting journeys are a big part of life for De Montfort students
De Montfort University is a firm believer in supporting young people on their journey through education, both inside and away from the classroom.
The university has extended that philosophy to backing the 2012 Leicester Mercury Sports Awards, in which they are sponsors of the Under 19 / School Team of the Year trophy.
The winners of all 14 categories in the awards will be announced on Thursday night at Welford Road.
"The annual awards have become an important date in the Leicestershire sporting calendar over the years and are a wonderful way to honour all that is great about sport in the county today," said De Montfort University vice-chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard.
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"We believe sport is a major contributor to a student's university experience, not just for those who play, but for the thousands of spectators who cheer them on. It is also why our £8 million leisure centre has proved to be so popular.
"Sport is good for your physical and mental health and a great way of learning to work as a team, strive for success and deal with defeat – important things to learn when you head out into the workplace. So the university is pleased to be sponsoring the Under 19 / School Team of the Year at the Mercury Sports Awards."
Last year was crammed with sporting highlights for Professor Shellard.
"It was an incredible year for sporting success," he said.
"Watching us win the varsity rugby and the men and women's varsity football was compulsive viewing.
"The atmosphere at Welford Road and the King Power Stadium was electric.
"Taking university staff and students to the dress rehearsal of the London 2012 opening ceremony was a great day.
"It was then we all realised the Olympics were going to be something special."
The university also has strong links with both Leicester Tigers and Leicestershire County Cricket Club, having signed new partnerships with each last year.
"There is much we can achieve by working together to further our sporting and academic ambitions," Professor Shellard said.
As the new year gathers pace there are numerous major events for the university students and staff to focus on. In 2013, I am looking forward to Prince Edward officially opening the university's new leisure centre on January 23," Professor Shellard said.
"I will be taking my seat for the rematch in the varsity between De Montfort and the University of Leicester.
"I hope to see Tigers win the Heineken Cup, watch Leicestershire do well in the cricket and, in August, I hope to see Leicester City playing QPR – where I am a season-ticket holder – in the Premiership."
For coverage of Thursday's Leicester Mercury Sports Awards ceremony, see Friday's paper. There will also be a special sports awards supplement the following Tuesday.