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Major investment in elite training facilities to prepare athletes for 2012 Games

27.08.2008 - Olympics 2012

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Following the Government's announcement of a new investment fund for elite training centres, Sport England today gave details of how it will spend millions of pounds to give athletes in England the best chance of success at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The funding will enable the training centres to install state-of-the-art equipment and to replicate design features of the venues where British athletes will be going for gold in 2012.

Most of the investment will be at the National Sports Centres, run by Sport England, which are among the cornerstones of Team GB’s record success in Beijing. 29 of our medal-winning athletes train at the National Centres.

These latest improvements will help Team GB to get better still – and increase competition for 2012 as the next generation of stars develop their skills.

£2.1m will pay for training and rehabilitation facilities as well as indoor rowing and canoeing machines at Bisham Abbey.

David Tanner, Performance Manager for the GB Rowing Team which won 6 Olympic medals, said:

"Winning Olympic medals isn't just about those six or so minutes on the water in the final, it is about years of putting in the hard yards -- often in the gym at Bisham Abbey.

"Sport England's new investment will help our athletes’ training, recovery and rehabilitation as the team knuckles down to the challenge of getting in even better shape for London 2012.

"The facilities will also help the next generation of rowers who'll be pushing the current team hard for places in four years' time."

Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive said:

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our determination to do everything we can to help talented athletes achieve success at the highest level.

“Sport England is working closely with national governing bodies of sport, UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport to develop world-leading training facilities for our top athletes as they prepare for the Games in 2012.

“As we unearth and nurture more talented young athletes, they too will benefit from training alongside our Olympians and Paralympians in state-of-the-art facilities.”

The investments are a major milestone in the delivery of Sport England’s new strategy aimed at building a world leading community sport system. The three largest projects in England are:

1. Rowing, canoeing & hockey – extending strength and conditioning gym at Bisham Abbey. Tripling existing space to accommodate world-class training and rehabilitation facilities to improve agility, strength and conditioning as well as indoor rowing and canoeing machines – used mainly by rowers based at Caversham Lake, GB canoeing and England Hockey. (£2,100,000).

3. New all weather pitches at Lilleshall. Developing two new floodlit artificial pitches - one for elite hockey use. The hockey pitch will replicate the surface of the London 2012 venue. England Hockey intends to use Lilleshall for talent development of gifted young players through junior camps. (£1,725,000).


All works are due to be completed by 31 March 2009.

While most of the facilities are primarily designed to benefit world class elite athletes, they will also be used by others at earlier stages of the talent development pathway as well as for wider community use.


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