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Swimming - 25. March 2008.

GLOUCESTER WINS BID TO HOST EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS


23rd March 2008

Gloucester is to host the European Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships 2009 after LEN confirmed the bid had been successful.

LEN, the European federation for aquatic sports, awarded the event to Gloucester at the European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven, Holland and complimented the city on the quality of the bid.

British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes has welcomed the announcement which he sees as an integral part of synchronised swimming development within the UK in readiness for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Sparkes was in Holland to receive the good news on behalf of a bid partnership between British Swimming, UK Sport, Gloucester City Council and the South West Regional Development Agency.

"We've been pro-active in staging international events in Britain over recent years and have had success with open water, water polo and diving, we'll be hosting the World Swimming Championships next month in Manchester and we've now turned our attention to synchronised swimming," said Sparkes.

"It's all part of a process that involves building experience, skills and knowledge across all aquatic disciplines in readiness for the London Olympics in 2012.

"The event will give athletes the opportunity to compete in a major international championships while building the capacity within our volunteer and professional workforce, and to enthuse a new generation of synchronised swimmers in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games."

The championships will coincide with a resurgence in British synchronised swimming which this week saw the highest European ranking achieved for many years.

"For us 2009 is right for us in terms of a synchronised swimming nation," said Sparkes. "The impact that National Performance Director Biz Price has been good for the sport and this competition will enable us to showcase our young athletes.

"Gloucester offers a good pool built very much with television in mind and this will provide a perfect platform for some of Europe's most talented young synchronised swimmers.

"LEN have seen the pool and think it's ideal for an international competition of this calibre and Gloucester City Council have been very helpful in securing this event."
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