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Football club impressed with DMU redevelopment designs with a community focus

Halls of fame, barbecue areas, large screen TVs and comfy sofas are among student redesign proposals to attract the community to a football club.

Interior Design students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have drawn up plans to breathe new life into Thurnby Rangers Football Club in the Thurnby Lodge area of the city.

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Interior Design students present their redesign proposals to Thurnby Rangers Football Club

The student project is a #DMUlocal project, which works to put the skills, experience and talent on campus to use in the community.

The second-year students have redesigned the community room and home and away changing rooms in order to ‘move the club forward’ to benefit everyone living in the area.

Thurnby Rangers will now use the student designs to attract funding for a clubhouse revamp, which they hope will in turn encourage more engagement from people in the local community.

Most of the students’ plans included a re-build of the existing building, which was built in 1992. They extended the size of the clubhouse to add disabled access, a larger and more welcoming bar/kitchen area with comfortable seating, and even motivational quotes on the walls.

Students also suggested special features such as history walls, trophy cabinets and halls of fame to highlight the success of the club.

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Interior Design student Rizwanaa Patel with her clubhouse design

Stuart Wright, Senior Interior Design Lecturer, said it had been exciting to see the students sharing their design ideas with the football club.

He said: “I’m really proud of the students for the hard work they put in and the professional approach they took to this important community project.

“DMU is providing the expertise and guidance where it is needed most in the community. We are the football club’s first step to moving forward. The purpose of this project has always been the community and how local people will benefit.

“We would love to see the club securing funding to implement the student designs. It’s an exciting time for Thurnby Rangers.”

The second-year Interior Design students who presented their ideas to bosses at Thurnby Rangers were Binta Samateh, Caroline Peck, Yash Sampat, Rizwanaa Patel, and Youna Choi.

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Student Youna Choi with her proposal for Thurnby Rangers Football Club

The design put forward by Caroline Peck, 20, focused on the ‘football club brand’ so that the community have a sense of belonging.

She said: “I wanted the community to feel like it was their space. I’ve transformed it into a colourful and vibrant space.

“There is an interactive white board and two feature walls with a hexagon theme, to represent footballs. One wall is used to display trophies inside the hexagons, and the other features cut-out hexagons which can be used as a climbing area for young children.”


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Binta Samateh, 22, used a mood board, then sketched her ideas before using CAD, Photoshop and Lumion programmes to draw 3-D designs.

She said: “My design is very open-plan and modern and puts the community first.

“The community area overlooking the pitch has been extended and comfy sofas added. People can pop in to relax or just say hello whether they want to watch the game or not.

“There are larger and improved showers and changing rooms with separate entrances for home and away teams.”

Talking about her design, Youna Choi, 24, said “I’ve made the home changing area bigger and better to give the home team some perks and extra motivation. Everything is in the club colours of red and green and there are logos on the lockers.

“There are big screen projectors for the community, a bar/kitchen area and patio doors opening out to the barbecue area.”

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DMU student Caroline Peck with her design

Thurnby Rangers Football Club Treasurer, Peter Billson said visiting DMU to watch students present their designs was “absolutely fantastic.” He was joined by Chairman and Founder Pat Darby and Team Manager Ashley Billson.

Peter said: “I was absolutely blown away with each design.

“The students had put in so much work and their attention to detail was amazing, you could really see the passion and enthusiasm they had for the project.

“We had nothing but positive feedback as the students’ perfectly captured how we want to make the clubhouse the focus of the whole community.”

Peter said the football club would now be working to secure funding, starting with a fundraising fun day at the club this summer.

He added: “There was something that we absolutely loved from every design so we somehow want to bring all our favourite elements together to take the club forward.

“We are going to do everything we can to find the funding to make this achievable.”

Posted on Wednesday 14th February 2018

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