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Pre-games training camps

Published in Sports Management 2012 issue 2
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We look at the world-class sporting facilities at three pre-games training camps and find out how the operators plan to use this opportunity to engage and inspire the local communities .

More than 200 Pre-Games Training Camps for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have now been agreed across Britain, for use by 93 competing countries through National Olympic and Paralympic Committees (NOC and NPC) and international teams. Providing athletes with a base from which to prepare, train and acclimatise ahead of the Games, these camps were recognised during the bid as an essential part of an athlete’s preparation for the Games.

To this end, London offered a financial award of up to £25,000 (US$40,000, E30,000) to every NOC and NPC who sends a team to prepare in approved training camps in the UK, to encourage teams from across the world to use local facilities for their Games’ preparations.

LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY

Olympic teams
• British Olympic Association (BOA)
• Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC)

Having made a unique contribution to sport in the UK for more than 60 years, Loughborough University offers state-of-the-art facilities, built in partnership with many sports national governing bodies (NGBs). Its 437-acre campus is also home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff.

The university’s sports scholarship programme enables 250 of the finest young athletes to excel in both their academic and sporting arenas.

Its students have won the British Universities and Colleges Sport Championship for 30 years and 56 past and present students represented TeamGB in the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

So far 17 swimmers, canoeists and athletes who either study, are based at or are university alumni have been selected for this year’s Games.

As testament to its international renown for its teaching and research into sports science and engineering, a £15m Sports Technology Institute was opened in 2007 to develop cutting-edge technology for the UK’s sport and leisure sector.

Facilities
The facilities have been designed to create a specific training environment, which gives the best possible support to athletes seeking to achieve excellence and success. It offers an environment to match technical specifications, equipment, floor surfaces, lighting and climatic conditions that will be found at London 2012 sporting venues.

The National High Performance Centre (next to the Paula Radcliffe Stadium) has eight 120m-sprint lanes, two long-jump lanes with a sand pit, a high-jump bed, two pole-vault beds, separate areas for javelin and discus and a strength and conditioning suite.

Badminton, netball, gymnastics, hockey and taekwondo have dedicated high performance centres on campus and rugby league used the university as a base for last year’s Four Nations’ Championship.

There are two tennis centres, including a Lawn Tennis Association regional academy, and a beach volleyball court has been erected in recent weeks.

The eight-lane, 50m swimming pool has a hydraulic base to adjust the depth and a movable wall to change the length. It offers a comprehensive analysis and training centre with underwater filming and playback facilities.

Visiting Teams
All members of TeamGB are expected to pass through the university for the official ‘kitting out’ process before the Games. This will provide an opportunity to bring together the hundreds of athletes and officials into one unit and mentally prepare the whole team for this major competition.

In the weeks preceding the Games, the BOA will also base its support services at Loughborough.

The JOC will use the university as a training environment to allow the Japanese Olympic team to acclimatise and make final preparations in readiness for the Games. Imperial College, London is a key partner in the Japanese agreement – providing an additional London-based venue.

In preparation for the JOC’s arrival, 60 university staff from the Sports Development Centre as well as the catering and accommodation arm have received initial training to help them understand the cultural differences and learn basic Japanese in order to help the athletes settle in.

In the lead up to the international partnership, groups of practicing academics, PE teachers and officials from the Japanese Ministry of Education have visited Loughborough to learn about physical education in the UK and help kick start a collaborative project in design and technology. Members of the Japanese Sports Association have also visited the university to learn about the promotion of youth sport and physical activity.

School pupils from across the East Midlands region have also attended university Musubi days, where they take part in Japanese-themed activities including Taiko drumming and judo, as well as language, nutrition and culture.

This collaboration has led to Loughborough University signing an agreement with Waseda University as part of a global US$14m (£8.7m, E10.6m) programme designed to increase collaborative research in sport sciences and physical activity.

Elite athletes will have access to the high performance gym
Elite athletes will have access to the high performance gym
Facilities match technical specifications found at London 2012 venues
Facilities match technical specifications found at London 2012 venues
The university gives support to athletes seeking excellence
The university gives support to athletes seeking excellence

UNIVERSITY OF BATH

Olympic teams
• British Paralympic Association
• China (swimming)
• Malaysia
• Lithuania (modern pentathlon)
• Denmark (Paralympic swimming)
(others to be confirmed)

The University of Bath’s £30m Sports Training Village was completed in 2004. Offering a diverse selection of fully-inclusive sports facilities, the village includes a 50m swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, athletics tracks, synthetic turf pitches and a judo dojo.

A number of sports have their national high performance bases at Bath. These include modern pentathlon, bob skeleton, badminton, beach volleyball and netball. The university also houses one of British Swimming’s five intensive training centres. Sports science back-up areas, which include ice-baths and saunas and video analysis capabilities are also on site.

Olympic athletes that train at the university include Amy Williams – 2010 Olympic Games bob skeleton gold medalist and Dai Greene – 2011 World 400m hurdles champion.

Facilities
Many of the university’s sports facilities have been designed so they can be adapted for use by a variety of different sports. The main hall, complete with a sprung wooden floor, can accommodate up to three basketball courts or be adapted for Paralympic use to host boccia, wheelchair basketball, goalball, sitting volleyball and wheelchair rugby.??

The university’s indoor acrylic tennis courts can also be adapted for alternative sporting use. These complement eight acrylic and two clay outdoor courts within the sports complex.

An indoor modern pentathlon training area, which is home to the GB team, features 16m x 10m electronic shooting lanes and eight aluminium fencing pistes, while the indoor throws and jumps hall and six-lane 140m running straight can also be used for archery training. ?

The fully-equipped fitness suite has more than 120 cardiovascular stations, seven lifting platforms, free and fixed weights and stretching/warm-up zones.??

Outside, there are two upgraded sand-dressed, floodlit hockey pitches, which can accommodate football sessions and complement eight natural turf sports pitches. A 400m, floodlit athletics track includes full throws and jumps facilities.

Sports science and medicine facilities are a key component of the village and include a human performance centre and sports injury clinic. Disciplines include: physiology testing; strength and conditioning; prehab and rehab; Hypoxic training; physiotherapy; recovery sports massage therapy, hydrotherapy and ice bath therapy; video performance analysis; nutrition and hydration; sports psychology and eye-tracking – to enhance perception and decision-making.

Visiting Teams
China’s top 25 swimmers will train along-side British Olympians at the university in readiness for Games-time competition. The university already has strong links with the country, in terms of academic research and collaboration, and is looking to extend the partnership into the areas of sports performance and sport science. More than 1,000 Chinese students currently study at the university.

Malaysia has also been using the site as a regular training base since early 2010, in the lead up to large European-based tournaments, as well as in preparation for the Olympic Games.

Training facilities can be adapted for use by the ParalympicsGB camp, which will feature 10 sports and more than 200 team members in the run up to the Paralympic Games.

Community Links:
The university will be running a comprehensive programme that links the international visits to the local community to inspire the one million visitors/users of the facility throughout this training period. The torch relay route will also run through the facility.

The village includes an Olympic-standard, 50m swimming pool
The village includes an Olympic-standard, 50m swimming pool
The visiting nations will inspire students and the community during their visit
The visiting nations will inspire students and the community during their visit

SURREY SORTS PARK - UNIVERSITY OF SURREY

Olympic Teams
• Antigua and Barbuda (swimming)
• China (swimming)
• Estonia (swimming)
• Great Britain (basketball)
• Malta (swimming)
• Mauritius (swimming)
• Mongolia (marathon)
• Nigeria (badminton, basketball, table tennis, taekwondo, boxing, weight lifting and wrestling)
• Philippines (swimming)
• Singapore (swimming, badminton)
• USA (triathlon)

Paralympic Teams
• Argentina (boccia, football, judo,
• power lifting, swimming, table tennis tennis)
• Mauritius (swimming)
• Nigeria (power lifting, table tennis, tennis)
• Spain (swimming)
• Sweden (table tennis, swimming)

Facilities
The state-of-the-art sports facilities include a 50m, UV-treated swimming pool with a constant 2m depth that can accommodate 30m water polo as well as 50m and 25m swimming distances.

One of the only world-champion badminton facilities in the country, the park’s three, blue sports arenas aid shuttlecock visibility and offers seating for 1,000 spectators, while high-profile basketball and netball games can also be played at the facility. Eight squash courts, including six premium glass-backed courts and two show courts with seating for 180 spectators, are available, as well as two multi-purpose exercise studios and a 100-station health and fitness suite.

Outside facilities include two floodlit synthetic turf pitches, with a sand-dressed pitch (AGP 3), a cushioned shock-pad, sand-dressed pitch (AGP 2) and a 3G, rubber-crumb surface pitch (AGP 1), eight floodlit tennis courts and eight football and rugby pitches.?

All the sport and recreational facilities have been designed to accommodate disabled athletes as the provision of outstanding training and recreational facilities for disabled athletes has been a priority of the programme.

??The centre has been made widely available to the residents of Surrey, while international teams are in residence. Close collaboration with Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council has been crucial to the success of the project and there has also been a very close working relationship with other sporting facilities in the area. These include Guildford Spectrum, Charterhouse School and Merrist Wood. ?

This month, the park will also be opening a new Olympic-standard strength and conditioning area, which will offer additional weights and cardio equipment to complement the park’s existing health and fitness centre.

Community Programmes: CELEBRATE SURREY
Celebrate Surrey is a programme of public events which recognises the contribution that both the University of Surrey and Surrey Sports Park make to the intellectual, economic and cultural life of the local, national and global community. The aim of the programme is to encourage a culture of two-way conversations between university staff and students, and people outside the university as well as raising awareness of the opportunities that exist. It also aims to encourage a greater understanding among the local community of the ways in which the university can benefit the area.

The programme of events includes a year-long calendar of dance, music, exhibitions, plays and musicals; the Olympic-style Surrey Youth Games; an Olympic Festival and Torch Relay celebrations and a mini, family-friendly science festival.

Synchronised swimming offers spectator opportunities
Synchronised swimming offers spectator opportunities
A global atmosphere in the park
A global atmosphere in the park
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