Phase one of the new Iffley Road Sports Centre will be named after Olympic rower and scholar Dr Acer Nethercott.
Dr Nethercott, who died two years ago today, was regarded as the best British cox of his time. He successfully coxed three Oxford crews to victory in the Boat Race, including the closely contested 2003 men’s race, where his tenacity and tactics helped Oxford to triumph.
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 source of comfort, as well as one of huge pride, to continue to hear of Acer’s lasting impact and I am deeply touched.’
An accomplished scholar-athlete
As well as winning an Olympic silver medal and two World Championship bronze medals, Acer also received a first class degree in Physics and Philosophy and completed a doctorate in the philosophy of language.
‘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. He recalls what it was like being friends with Acer: ‘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.’
‘We are delighted to name our new sports centre building after Acer Nethercott,’ said Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University. ‘Acer was the model of a “scholar-athlete”, as he not only achieved incredible sporting success but also excelled in his studies at Oxford.’
The Iffley Road Sports Complex
The Acer Nethercott Sport Hall will be the first building in the redevelopment of the University’s Iffley Road Sports Complex, a £60 million project that will increase available space for the more than 80 University sports clubs and members of the local community.
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.
Construction of the Acer Nethercott Sports Hall will begin as soon as the University has raised the necessary funds. If the University’s fundraising is successful, the building is expected to open by the end of 2016.