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SYNCHRO START 2012 PREPARATIONS AT ALDERSHOT ARMY BASE
The Aldershot High Performance Centre, officially launched at the Aspire Defence-run Garrison Sports Centre today, will be home to a group of synchronised swimmers and their coaches dedicated to turning the fortunes of a sport revived by the promise of a home Olympics.
11 of the country's top athletes, aged 17-24, are now based at the centre combining full-time training with their studies. The British duet have been training in Aldershot since January whilst team athletes transferred to the army base last month (September) to train for up to six hours per day, six days a week. By 2012, athletes will be expected to train for up to eight hours in the pool each day with additional conditioning and flexibility work.
The swimmers benefit from world class facilities at the Garrison where a deep eight-lane 50m pool, modifications including an underwater music system and poolside televisions, and access to gym facilities provide the perfect training environment. Additional sessions at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) at Bisham Abbey provide athletes with physiology, sports psychology, sports nutrition and strength and conditioning support.
British Synchro National Performance Director Biz Price has been in post since January and is delighted with the facilities on offer in Aldershot.
"We are excited to be training in a world class environment at the Aldershot Garrison," she said. "For the first time in British Synchro's history we have athletes training full time at a centralised High Performance Centre. This will enable us to compete at the highest level and provide the best preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games where the athletes will be competing in front of their home crowd."
British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes is pleased the new High Performance Centre has been established at his 'favourite' location.
"When London was announced as 2012 Olympic host we realised we'd have to step up our game and find a high performance centre for synchro," he said. "Having been involved in the redevelopment of the Aldershot pool we knew what a tremendous facility the army has there.
"I'm delighted the team now has a permanent base at Aldershot and the realisation of this partnership is thanks to much support and encouragement from the BOA and the backing of the Army, Aspire Defence and the Army Sports Control Board."
"Biz has been building a great team at the Garrison, but as an evolving Olympic sport synchro has a tough challenge ahead to get into the medal zone. Synchro is a truly demanding sport and requires massive commitment, but with everyone moving in the right direction at a world class facility such as Aldershot we can be ready to compete at 2012."
Simon Clegg praised British Synchro for its commitment to building a team for the London Olympics.
"London 2012 has provided governing bodies with the greatest opportunity to make their sport world class," he said. "I am delighted British Synchro is grasping this opportunity with the launch of the High Performance Centre at Aldershot, which has been short listed as one of the four potential sites to host Team GB's 2012 preparation camp."