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Colombian Olympic boxing team to train at Gateshead College ahead of London 2012

10 November 2011

Gateshead College will host the Colombian Olympic boxing team ahead of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, taking the number of training camp deals signed in the UK to more than 100 with around 50% of those involving a Further and/or Higher Education institution.

Gateshead College student with Colobian boxing coach

The team, who recently trained at the newly launched Gateshead College Boxing Academy alongside aspiring young boxers, will prepare for next year’s event at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Gateshead College, Gateshead Council and the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) all collaborated on the Colombian project to bring the boxing team to the College ahead of London 2012.

The three organisations also combined to allow the Colombian athletes to train at the College earlier this year for a short period to test out the world class sporting centre in preparation for the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Azerbaijan.

The College provided facilities for the athletes to train, the council provided the logistical support needed to host a team of seven boxers and two trainers, and the ABA supported the trip as a governing body.

The Colombian boxers trained alongside the colleges 12 academies, most notably, the boxing academy. Students then had the opportunity to work alongside the international athletes, spar with them in the ring and study at first hand how they conduct their training regimes.

Lewis Pendleton, Sport Academy Manager at Gateshead College's Academy for Sport said: "It was a fantastic experience to work with the Colombian boxers earlier this year and I'm looking forward to doing it again. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a lot of our students and they will really benefit from the experience.

“The visiting Colombian athletes were really impressed with our facilities and I know they are looking forward to coming back. We've got boxers at the College who aspire to compete in the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, so to be able to work with these athletes at close quarters who could potentially go on to win medals is fantastic.

"We are looking forward to being a part of the London 2012 legacy and inspiring the next generation of young people to compete in future Games."

The Colombian boxers are in good company, with many of the world’s top athletes preparing for London 2012 at the UK’s colleges and universities. 100m and 200m world record holder, Usain Bolt is training at University of Birmingham and Brunel University, whilst Oscar ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius will train at Cardiff with the South African Paralympic squad.

The other colleges and universities involved in the pre Games training camps include:

By Stuart Appleby

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