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  • Loughborough University Hall of Fame
  • Roderic A. Dunn and Scott A.G.M. Crawford

Loughborough University originated from the Loughborough Technical Institute, which was set up in 1909. In 1919, its title changed to Loughborough Technical College; two years later, it was renamed Loughborough College. Another decade elapsed before a Physical Education Department was formed (1931) and a School for Athletics established (1937). In 1952, Loughborough College was divided into four separate educational institutions. One of these was Loughborough Teacher Training College. This establishment flourished and in 1963 was renamed Loughborough College of Education. It was subsequently amalgamated with the University of Technology (1977), and both establishments became known as Loughborough University in 1996.

In 2011, the Loughborough Sporting Club decided to acknowledge the outstanding sporting successes of its past students. A Hall of Fame was created to celebrate, following a chronological sequence, Loughborough alumni who represented the university and, most importantly, were recognized as preeminent in their athletic spheres. In 2013, the [End Page 224] selection field was expanded to include coaches. As of 2016, the Hall of Fame has forty-nine inductees.

As we reviewed the members' profiles, four names seemed especially deserving of mention: Gerald Davies, Sebastian Coe, Paula Radcliffe, and Geoffrey H. Dyson.

Born in Llansaint, Wales, Davies attended Loughborough in the 1960s and majored in physical education. He continued his education at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a rugby "blue." He then received 46 caps representing Wales in international rugby from 1966 to 1978. But the acme of his career was touring the antipodes with the British Lions in 1971 and participating in the team's upset of the New Zealand All Blacks in a four-match test series. In 2009, Davies was appointed as manager for the British Lions team that toured South Africa.

In track and field, we selected Sebastian Coe, who studied economics and social history at Loughborough and won gold in the 1500 meters at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics. Coe was a conservative member of Parliament from 1992 to 1997 and was elevated to the House of Lords in 2000. In 2007, he was appointed as vice president of the International Amateur Athletic Federation. Moreover, he is generally recognized as the architect of the 2012 London Olympics.

Paula Radcliffe was a three-time winner of the London and New York Marathons. Her 2:15:25 in the 2003 London Marathon still stands as a world record. She graduated from Loughborough in 1996 with a first-class honors degree in modern European studies. Despite her world record, she is often remembered for her performance in the 2004 Athens Olympics, when the strong prerace favorite collapsed and had to withdraw thirty-six kilometers into the marathon.

From 1947 to 1961, Geoffrey H. Dyson was the Great Britain national coach in track and field. He is also considered a founding father of sports science. Following his years as a national coach, he became director of the Royal Canadian Legion's Sports Training Plan (1962–70) and, on his return to England, was made director of physical education at Winchester College. The various programs he initiated at Winchester were not about elite athletics but focused on maximum activity and pleasurable recreation to target a wide participation base. His Mechanics of Athletics (1962) revolutionized coaching. As a result, the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports Institution's most prestigious annual honor is named the Geoff Dyson Award.

In reviewing these members of the Hall of Fame, it is possible to posit the notion of Loughborough as being a training landscape that forged athletes both able and ferociously competitive. For instance, Hall of Famer John Cooper arrived at Loughborough as a promising triple jumper in the early 1960s. He then found his passion to be hurdling. His "fartlek" conditioning, with teammates Robbie Brightwell and Tim Graham, is legendary. At the 1964 Olympics, Cooper won a silver medal in the 400-meter hurdles and ran a leg of the 1600-meters relay for his second silver medal. He died on March 3, 1974, on Turkish Airlines Flight 981, which crashed outside Paris.

The Hall of Fame, courtesy of the Loughborough University Library, holds the John...


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