SA squads to be based near Twick­ers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

THE South African Sports Con­fed­er­a­tion and Olympic Com­mit­tee have an­nounced that West Lon­don will be the base for their pre-Games train­ing camps for the 2012 Olympics.

This fol­lows ex­ten­sive plan­ning and re­search by a Sas­coc task team ear­lier this year.

The South African Olympic ath­letes will be based at St Mary’s Uni­ver­sity Col­lege, Twick­en­ham, and the Lens- bury club, and will make use of a num­ber of top-qual­ity sports clubs venues in the area.

Sas­coc pres­i­dent Gideon Sam said, “In line with all our plan­ning for the 2012 Games and the run-up to Lon­don, it’s ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal that we quickly iden­tify the ar­eas where we are go­ing to train. We are de­lighted to an­nounce St Mary’s and the Lens­bury clubs as our choice of venues.

“It’s im­por­tant that we get the sup­port struc­tures in place, and also build and main­tain sport­ing re­la­tion­ships in Eng­land that will ben­e­fit our ath­letes both pre-and post-2012.

“I must say that in the runup to the 2012 Games, it’s fan­tas­tic that we were able to iden­tify a train­ing camp venue so early on.

“It’s very im­por­tant that we do it right and get the ath­letes into the in­ter­na­tional at­mos­phere at an early stage and let them get used to their sur­round­ings. They must be ex­posed to the in­ter­na­tional set-up. The Bei­jing Olympics were quite an eye-opener and I think some of the ath­letes were a bit over-awed.

“Hope­fully th­ese kinds of camps will help. It’s all part of the greater scheme of things, try­ing to look af­ter the ath­letes.”

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