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130 Facilities From The South East To Appear In The London 2012 Pre-Games Training Camp Guide

3 March 2008

130 sporting facilities from across the South East will be featured in the London Organising Committee’s Pre-Games Training Camp Guide which is launched today.

Over 600 facilities will appear in the Guide in total, when it is published at the Beijing Games later this year.

The Guide will contain information on high quality elite sporting facilities from across the South East. This will provide teams and individual athletes a great selection of venues from which they can choose to prepare for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee (LOCOG), commented: "We said that we wanted the London Games to be for athletes, and the facilities listed in this Guide will really help overseas athletes prepare well. It also provides a great opportunity for towns throughout the UK to get involved in our plans. The process we have been through shows a great spread of high quality facilities throughout the UK that can be used by elite level athletes. The new website will continue to be an asset to keep an up-to-date log of the elite facilities we have across the UK."

Pam Alexander, Chief Executive of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and Chair of the South East Partnership for the 2012 Games said: “The South East region is delighted that we have so many facilities included in the Pre Games Training Camp Guide. This reflects the high quality of elite sporting venues and the large number of internationally recognised locations, from Brands Hatch to Stoke Mandeville. But I am delighted that is also includes many top quality community facilities. We look forward to welcoming many international teams and top athletes to the South East to enjoy the facilities on offer here and to experience some of the best aspects of a world- class region.

Tessa Jowell, Olympics Minister, added: "The strength and diversity of our sporting infrastructure is demonstrated by so many high quality facilities having met the strict criteria to be included in this Guide. This is a real opportunity for communities across the UK to capitalise on the benefits that hosting 2012 offers. There are no guarantees of success just by making it into the Guide. There will be fierce competition to host foreign teams and individuals, and now it is for every nation and region, every venue, to sell itself internationally."

Phil Lane, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association said: "It's a significant bonus for National Paralympic Committees around the world to benefit from the same process and grants as their Olympic counterparts for the first time. We're working with London 2012 on evaluating the suitability of many of the named sites for Paralypmic use. In the meantime, we're delighted that Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games, is in the Guide."

South East facilities that appear in the Guide will now market their facilities directly to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and National Paralympic Committees (NPCs). There will be workshops organised to give guidance on this.

Important facilities like the Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Buckinghamshire, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games, is in the Guide for a range of Olympic Sports as well. Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, home to a number of British national teams, is also included for a range of sports, and Brands Hatch racing circuit gets included for road cycling. The All England Jumping Course at Hickstead is included for equestrianism and the Combined Sailing Clubs of Cowes in the Isle of Wight are included for sailing.

But it is not just about household names. Individual specialist facilities are also included. Many are relatively new, and are increasingly being recognised as leaders in their field. Penshurst Off Road Cycle Circuit in Kent is included for mountain biking, Longridge Boating Centre, already home to the GB Women's Rowing Team, is included and the Yellowwave Beach Sports Venue in Brighton is included for Beach Volleyball.

Many of the facilities in the South East are members of consortia - groups of facilities in a particular area that have agreed to work together to provide facilities for a wide range of sports to multi sport teams, along with the back up support that is so important to training camps.

The South East and LOCOG are both keen to make sure that Paralympic teams receive as much attention and support as Olympic teams in the run up to the 2012 Games. The list of facilities that have been selected from the region for inclusion in the Guide as potential bases for Paralympic Teams will be announced soon.

If and when the facilities in the South East secure bookings from visiting Olympic and Paralympic teams, this will bring a triple benefit to host communities. Pre-Games Training Camps for visiting teams will stimulate the local economy, enhance international links between the World Class region that is the South East and other countries, and should provide a stimulus to local residents to take an interest in sport, and to adopt a more healthy lifestyle - even if few locals will be able to emulate the performance achievements of their visitors.

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