Double top for North East training camps

THE North East has secured two agreements with international Olympic teams to host athletes in the run-up to the London 2012 Games.

Durham University's Maiden Castle ground

THE North East has secured two agreements with international Olympic teams to host athletes in the run-up to the London 2012 Games.

Durham University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka to use its sports facilities, becoming the first North East institution to secure an agreement of this kind with an international team.

Similarly, One North East, supported by former world champion boxer Glenn McCrory, the British Chamber of Commerce in Colombia and Sport England, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Colombian National Olympic Committee which sets the scene for exclusive discussions between the North East and Colombia to identify which of the region’s 20 Pre-Games Training Camps, which includes Durham University, would be suited to help their athletes prime for medal successes in 2012.

Dan Lewis, Deputy Director of Sport at Durham University, said: “We do a lot of work with local communities in Sri Lanka since the tsunami and we are always keen to strengthen further these links.

“Our students and partners will no doubt benefit from sharing the facilities with the Olympic athletes – feeling more closely connected to, and part of, the Olympics as a result.

“The planned facility developments over the next 18 months will further strengthen our resource to fulfill the needs of both our own world-class athletes and those visiting.”

Judith Rasmussen, regional strategic lead for Sport England North East, added: “This is fantastic news for North East England. We have excellent facilities and support services that can provide world-class training opportunities before the teams go off to the Olympic village.”

:: To find your nearest Pre-Games Training Camp venue visit

Page 2: Washington school rediscovers dream of 2012 Velodrome

Washington school rediscovers dream of 2012 Velodrome

ST ROBERT of Newminster School in Washington, winners of the London 2012 VeloDreamcompetition, were visited by the designers and builders behind the London 2012 Velodrome to have a go at designing and building their own Velodromes.

The school beat more than 500 schools around the country to win the VeloDream competition which asked pupils to design their own dream Olympic cycling venues of the future. As part of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s commitment to involving schools throughout the construction programme, the school were visited by the architects and construction team behind the London 2012 Velodrome which is beginning to make its mark on the East London skyline.

A full day of activity at the school included a presentation on the London 2012 Velodrome, followed by a chance for the pupils to design and build 3D models of the 2012 Velodrome. The pupils were also given a presentation by the Velodrome team about how to explore a career in construction and architecture.

Richard Arnold, Olympic Delivery Authority Velodrome project manager, said: “Visiting St Robert of Newminster School has been a great chance to bring the excitement of 2012 into the classroom and I was impressed by their innovative and imaginative designs for their own cycling venues.

“With our own Velodrome starting to take shape, it was good to meet the young people who have the chance to become a new generation of builders and architects, helping deliver world-class new venues and buildings in years to come.”

Tanya Gray, London 2012 Games and Commonwealth Games co-ordinator at One North East, added: “Like many schools across the region, St Robert’s has done well in capturing the spirit of the 2012 Games. The visit was a great success, with pupils making a number of inspiring creations.”

The London 2012 Velodrome will host the Olympic and Paralympic track cycling events in 2012. After the Games, the Velodrome will be used by elite athletes and the local community and will include a cafe, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities. A road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added to the Velodrome and BMX circuit to create a legacy VeloPark that will combine cycling facilities across all disciplines in one cycling hub.

Construction work on the Velodrome began on schedule in March and work is now well under way on the structural steelwork that will help form the distinct double-curved shape of the venue.

The VeloPark will be owned, funded and operated by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. The construction of the VeloPark facilities includes funding from Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Sport England, Transport for London and the London Marathon Charitable Trust.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer