Mark Hemmings, Sports Editor
Friday, July 29, 2011
WORLD class athletes from St Vincent and the Grenadines will carry out their pre-London 2012 Olympic Games training in Hertfordshire.
St Vincent and the Grenadines will join St Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis and the British Virgin Islands in living and training in Herts’ training camps during the build up to the Games.
President of St Vincent and the Grenadines NOC Trevor Bailey said: “Hertfordshire is ideal for us in the lead up to the Games.
“Hertfordshire is Ready for Winners has been very helpful in putting together a training package.
“The facilities on offer, the expertise and the location were all winning factors for us.”
One of the nation’s most famous sporting stars is sprinter Natasha Mayers who won 100m gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) were the first team to commit to Hertfordshire in June 2009 and since then a strong bond has developed.
Last summer discus thrower Eric Matthias stayed in the village community of Aston near Stevenage and trained locally. Last month BVI musician and artist Quito Rymer had a day of workshops with Hertfordshire school children.
Both St Lucia and St Kitts & Nevis signed up in October 2010.
More than 600 facilities across the UK are approved pre-games training camps for Olympic and Paralympic teams. Hertfordshire has 17 training camps, which offer wide-ranging sports facilities from athletics to gymnastics and fencing to wrestling.
Each Committee is offered up to £25,000 to spend on training camps in the UK to give their athletes the best opportunity to train, prepare and experience what the country has to offer before the Games in 2012.
Having four NOCs training could generate up to £100,000 of income for the county.
Chairman of the Hertfordshire is Ready for Winners Board, Derrick Ashley, said: “Hertfordshire is an ideal place for athletes from around the world to train.
“It has high quality sports facilities, plus we can offer things like strength and conditioning training, equipment, accommodation, travel and competition at an elite level. And of course we are only a very short distance from London and the Olympic Park.
“Each nation that chooses our pre-games training camps will be spending up to £25,000 in Hertfordshire, which is good news for the county.
“We look forward to forging lasting school and community links when we welcome the teams to Hertfordshire.”