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Eight Manchester sporting venues included in London 2012 training camp guide

The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) has announced that 25 sporting venues across the Northwest will feature in London 2012’s Pre-Games Training Camp Guide for Paralympic sports which will be published later this summer. The Guide is a comprehensive list of 179 venues throughout the UK which can now be used by Paralympians from all over the world as they make their final preparations for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

Manchester leads the way with eight venues, including Sportcity (which incorporates the velodrome, national squash centre, regional athletics arena and regional tennis centre) Elsewhere the Manchester Aquatics Centre and Sugden Sports Centre (both Oxford Road), Belle Vue regional hockey centre and Amaechi Basketball Centre (Wilbraham Road) are also included on the list.

Wavertree leads the list of Liverpool venues with the Liverpool tennis, aquatics and athletics centres all being selected. Other venues in Liverpool include Aintree Racecourse, Greenbank Sports Academy in Sefton and the Litherland sports park.

Other regions to benefit include Bolton, Stockport, Crewe, Blackpool, Chester, Preston, Widnes and Wigan.

In addition to being available to elite Paralympians in the build up to 2012, each of the sporting venues continue to be used by members of the general public on a day-to-day basis.

Stewart Kellett, Regional Director for Sport England North West, commented: “It’s a fantastic tribute to the region that these venues have been included on such an elite list and it highlights the standard and quality of facilities available to our local communities. The North West has some of the most advanced training facilities in the country and we’ve already had enquiries from some of the strongest Paralympic nations in the world who would potentially like to use our facilities. Such recognition provides fantastic inspiration and a once in a lifetime opportunity for people of the North West to train alongside elite athletes.”

Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee, said: “The facilities listed in this Guide will really help overseas athletes and teams prepare well for London 2012. The assessment process we have conducted shows that there is a good spread of high quality sporting facilities for athletes across the board. I hope that as many teams and athletes as possible take advantage of these facilities. Our vision is to use the Games to inspire change and change attitudes towards people with a disability. We look forward to welcoming Paralympic athletes to the UK in 2012”.

Anne McGuire, Minister for Disabled People, commented: “I’m delighted for each of the facilities that are included in the Guide. We’re looking forward to seeing elite athletes from around the world training here in advance of the Paralympic Games, raising the profile of the Games and engaging with local communities across the UK.”

Peter Mearns, Executive Director of Marketing at the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), said: “The Northwest has the experience and facilities to deliver very successful world class sporting events and I am pleased to see an excellent number of Northwest training camps have been selected for inclusion.
“Following the successful hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and four Paralympic World Cups since then, it is clear the region has the expertise required to host visitors and athletes across both Olympic and Paralympic sport.
“The 2012 Games have the potential to make a considerable impact in the Northwest and the NWDA will continue to work hard with partners to ensure the region capitalises upon this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Sport England is also poised to announce a major initiative to identify and encourage young talent within selected disabled sports. Full details will be announced during summer 2008 for the scheme which will open up further pathways for younger athletes to fulfil their dreams.

For more information and to see a full list of facilities, visit
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