The partnership, led by the Athletic Union alongside Sports Services and the Sustainability team will see students travel to and from Cochrane Park and Longbenton Sports Grounds Free of charge.
The trial will run until 17th June 2022 with plans for a permanent contract in place for the 2022/23 academic year.
Students will be able to register for a card at the Sports Centre Reception and use the Number 1 service from the city centre to get out to the university sports grounds. Passengers will be able to board and alight at Sandyford Road (outside Civic Centre), Sandyford Road (outside Archbold Terrace ‘Jesmond 360’), Heaton Road (Falmouth Road), Cochrane Park Sports Ground (Red Hall Drive) and Longbenton Sports Ground (Coach Lane Campus East).
Students will be able to show their cards whilst boarding and the university will cover the cost of transport. This will help break down barriers to sport by removing some of the hidden travel costs and will make our sports grounds more accessible to all students.
This travel scheme will be open to a huge number of students from across the university: those involved with AU Clubs, Campus League games, Intramural programmes, society members, volunteers and staff members.
Katy Storie, Director of Sport at the university, commented, "I'm delighted by the new partnership with Stagecoach, as it supports students by connecting our main campus with our outstanding sports facilities at Cochrane Park and Longbenton. This agreement also contributes to the university's commitment to reducing barriers for students to engage in sport and active wellbeing."
Plans for this idea were originally presented to the University Partnership Committee by previous Athletic Union Officer, Joe Gubbins. However, due to COVID-19 the project was shelved until Autumn 2021.
This arrangement between Newcastle University and Stagecoach Buses paves the way for expansion opportunities to other sports grounds such as Heaton Cricket Ground or the Newburn Water Sports Centre to make travel to and from training for our students as easy and accessible as possible.
As Athletic Union Officer I’m delighted to see this project over the line. There has been a huge amount of hard work over the years from predecessors to get this scheme implemented and my thanks must also go to the university for their assistance over the past few months. This will make significant steps to making Team Newcastle more accessible, inclusive and united.
With Varsity taking place on 27th April, this project comes at a welcome time for students looking to engage with the relaunch of this exciting sporting event.