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SPORTS COUNCIL BACKED FACILITIES SET TO ATTRACT LONDON 2012 GAMES CONTENDERS

3 Mar 2008

A host of Sports Council for Wales funded sporting venues have been included in the prestigious line-up of facilities spread across the pages of the new London 2012 Training Camps Guide.

Velodrome

The £7.5million Wales National Velodrome in Newport - funded exclusively by the Sports Council’s lottery pot – was today (3rd March 2008) the setting for the launch of the guide book, which unveils the portfolio of UK sports hubs making the grade as potential training base camps for teams destined for the London 2012 Games.

A total of 31 facilities spanning the length and breadth of Wales – with just under half of them the recipients of capital Sports Council funding - grace the pages of the book, underlining the Principality’s status as a worthy destination for visiting athletes looking to acclimatise prior to the Games in four years time.

Chair of the Sports Council for Wales, Philip Carling is pleased to see Wales so robustly represented:

"Wales’ credentials as a potential host to Olympic nations have placed the nation head and shoulders above the rest with its unparalled tendering of Olympic standard facilities. The fact that so many Sports Council funded facilities are featured is testament to the impact that lottery funding can have on sport in Wales.

"We must now capitalise on this opportunity to play a major role in the Games and offer the warmest of Welsh welcomes to competing teams who benefit from the use of our world class facilities. This in turn will stimulate interest in sporting activity across the board and bring cultural and economic benefits to Wales."

The facilities featured in the guide book include:

WALES NATIONAL VELODROME, NEWPORT

As one of only two such facilities in the UK, the Velodrome has helped cultivate the talents of Olympians Nicole Cooke and Julian Winn and World Champion track cyclist, Geraint Thomas, proving itself a worthy inclusion in the guide book.

The arena boasts a 250m cycling track, indoor sports arena, sports science facilities and a 4m-wide closed road circuit to the exterior. It is the centrepiece of a host of impressive facilities at the burgeoning Newport International Sports Village (NISV) which also includes a 25m swimming pool, tennis centre and the Newport Stadium, which can accommodate track and field athletic events and meets Football League standards.

THE WELSH INSTITUTE OF SPORT, CARDIFF

Set against the backdrop of Cardiff Castle, Bute Park and the River Taff, the Welsh Institute of Sport in Sophia Gardens also takes a place in the line up. Managed by the Sports Council, it remains the only venue in the United Kingdom to hold British Olympic Association recognition for three key sports – judo, badminton and table tennis.

The venue has helped to hone the skills of athletes that have spanned the upper echelons of domestic and international sport and underlined its status as a key component in Wales’ production line of talent turnout.

CANOLFAN TRYWERYN, BALA

The natural environment in Wales accommodates a wide range of sporting and leisure pursuits, including climbing, Watersports and fishing, walking and adventure activities and it has not gone unnoticed by the holding camp selectors.

Located on the banks of Afon Tryweryn’s 8km of rampant water, the National White Water Centre in Bala boasts year-round access to crisp whitewater which draws enthusiasts from far and wide. The Tryweryn is a dam released river so water often flows when other British rivers are dry, thus producing a unique year round white water venue.

The facility is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for paddle sports and has rapidly emerged as the largest rafting organisation in the UK.

WALES NATIONAL POOL, SWANSEA

National Pool

The Wales National 50m Pool in Swansea is another facility that takes centre stage. The elite £10.5m facility provides our top swimmers with the very best training ground to compete and win at the highest level. Welsh success at the Athens 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games is testament to this.

To date the building has proven to be a highly lucrative investment. Not only has it been the training headquarters of the Welsh swimming elite such as David Davies and David Roberts, but it has also drawn athletes from across the Severn Bridge, keen to make the most of the celebrated facility. The pool is also home to British Triathlon’s High Performance Centre.

National Olympic and Paralympic committees from different countries will decide where they will base their teams as the Games approach. However, the Australian Paralympic Committee has already decided in principle to hold its pre-2012 Paralympic training camp in Wales – a highly encouraging development as the four year countdown begins.

Click here to see a comprehensive breakdown of the Welsh facilities included in the guide.

For further information, please contact Sally Williams, Wales Unit Manager for the 2012 Games on /

Gareth John, Senior Press Officer at the Welsh Assembly Government on

Lynette Evans, Senior PR Officer at the Sports Council for Wales on /