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.
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:
- The University of Bath will host the ParalympicsGB and the Malaysia National Sports Institute ahead of London 2012.
- Bangor University will host the Chinese Olympic weightlifting team ahead of their preparation for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
- The University of Bedfordshire will host Ivory Coast's Paralympic squad.
- The Jamaican track and field team will prepare for the event at the University of Birmingham.
- Bradford College and Bradford University will play host to the National Olympic Committees of Vietnam and Tanzania.
- Bristol University, University of the West of England, and Filton College have established the Bristol-Kenya 2012 partnership, which is an agreement that will see Bristol host the Kenyan Olympic team for pre Games training camps in the build-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
- Brunel University will host a number of different nations, teams and athletes for pre Games training camps ahead of London 2012. This includes; the Canadian Paralympics athletics squad and athletes from the Republic of Korea who are competing in judo, taekwondo, swimming, hockey, boxing, fencing, wrestling, handball, badminton and table tennis.
- Cardiff University will be hosting Paralympians from Australia, as well as South Africa. The University has been confirmed as a London 2012 football training venue and it will also host training camps for boxing hopefuls from around the world after being chosen to do so by the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA).
- Durham University will host pre Games training camps for the Sri Lankan Olympic team.
- The University of Gloucestershire will host pre Games training camps with Malawi.
- The University of Hertfordshire will host training camps with the British Virgin Islands.
- Nepal’s Olympic and Paralympic committees have chosen to use the University of Kent's Canterbury campus as the country's main training base in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games:
- Imperial College London will host Japan during Games-time as well as Switzerland’s triathletes and open water swimmers.
- The University of Central Lancashire's (UCLan) will host a pre Games training camp for a top Fijian athlete.
- The Chinese Olympic Committee will use the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University and Bishop Burton College as official European pre Games training bases.
- Loughborough University is seeking more than 1,000 volunteers to help deliver training camps for both Team GB and Japan.
- Manchester Metropolitan University, Cheshire is teaming up with Cheshire East Council to host athletes from the Republic of Vanuatu.
- St Mary’s University College, Twickenham will be hosting pre Games training camps for the Chinese endurance squad athletes, as well as Ireland's Olympic squad and the South Africa Olympic squad.
- The University of Sunderland will host athletes from the Caribbean island of Grenada.
- The University of Surrey will host Singaporean athletes for pre Games training camps, as well as top athletes from Nigeria, Estonia and Croatia.
- In addition, the Antigua and Barbuda National Olympic Committee has also signed a deal to stage pre Games training camps at the University of Surrey.
- The University of Warwick's London 2012 preparations will see the venue become a training place for international football teams competing.
- The pre Games sailing training camps are taking place at Weymouth College and the Castle Cove Sailing Club. Weymouth is hosting camps for sailing teams from Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
By Stuart Appleby
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