Gym club prepares for world class visitors
Hayley MaceA Lowestoft gymnastics club is preparing to make its mark on the world stage as it prepares to welcome an international squad ahead of the 2012 Olympics.Hayley Mace
A Lowestoft gymnastics club is preparing to make its mark on the world stage as it prepares to welcome an international squad ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
The Canadian Gymnastics Federation has announced that its gymnasts will be training at the Waveney Gymnastics Club in the build up to the games in London.
The Canadian men's team came to Lowestoft in September last year and spent 10 days training at the club before the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the O2 Arena in London.
Now the squad has signed a 'memorandum of understanding' and has agreed to use the venue as their base in the build up to the 2012 games.
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Centre manager Vikki Rogers said: 'This is fantastic news for Waveney. We are delighted to welcome the Canadian squads back to our club, and look forward to a lasting legacy as a result of their visits, to inspire the young people in our community and develop real sporting opportunities as a result'.
Jeff Thomson, technical director for men's artistic gymnastics at Gymnastics Canada, said: 'The team enjoyed tremendous hospitality and service from the club during its training camp there prior to the 2009 World Championships in London.
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'That service and hospitality, combined with a world class facility, made it the obvious choice of where to train during the crucial final weeks of preparation for the Olympics.'
Adam Baker, Suffolk County Council's project manager for the 2012 Olympics, said: 'This is brilliant news. It's a clear statement of intent for the national Olympics committee to base their gymnastic team in Suffolk.
'It is great news that these international athletes will be training within the local community. It will really help to make people feel part of the games.'
When the Canadian team were in Waveney last year, they took time out from training to visit Lowestoft beach and also invited local schoolchildren to one of their training sessions.
As well as welcoming Canadian gymnasts to Suffolk, Azerbaijan's team will in Ipswich and Rwanda will be based in Bury St Edmunds.