Officials from the OCI, IIS, SINI, and the sports of Canoeing, Cycling visited St Mary’s Twickenham/Lensbury training facilities and accommodation yesterday in London. Athletics and Triathlon have already committed to trialing the training camp venues out this year prior to test events and National Championships.
The performance staff of the sports of cycling (road) indicated that they would also wish to use the facility prior to the test events in their sports this year and as a dress rehearsal for London 2012, subject to funding within their performance plans.
Cycling has the option of nearby Richmond Park, a 7 mile circuit close by, whilst Canoe Flatwater can use the Royal Canoe Club on the river bank beside the proposed accommodation at Lensbury. Badminton will view the new multi million badminton centre at st marys on Friday 4th February.
Institute staff from the IIS and Sport NI was very impressed at the training options and accommodation being proposed and excited about how they could support a high performance centre pre 2011 test events and pre 2012 games.
St Mary’s is an English Institute of Sport hub for the London area and specializes as a high performance endurance centre for the English Institute of Sport. South Africa has committed to St Marys along with some endurance athletes from the Chinese Olympic Team. St Marys are keen to limit he facilities to South Africa and Ireland National Olympic Committees. They have already turned away advances from other larger Nations such as Brazil.
The sports have been asked to draw up a matrix of athlete and support staff numbers, facility usage, bed nights, dietary requirements and other issues for inclusion in their 2011 and 2012 performance plans for consideration by the ISC, IIS, SINI and the Olympic Council. It would be an ideal opportunity for those working within the sports above to have added value service provision in a relaxed and exclusive environment and ensure a better Team Ireland ethos for the smaller sports in particular.
Other sports likely to qualify for London have indicated sports specific pre Games needs on an individual basis.
OCI sports director Martin Burke with Brendan Maloney, coach to Olympic Scholarship faltwater canoest barry Watkins at the Royal Canoe Club.
From Left to right: Stephen Martin OCI, Phil Moore IIS, Peter McCabe SINI, Rod McLoughlin OCI/IIS, Andrew Reid-Smyth St Marys, Brendan Maloney Canoeing, Martin Burke OCI, Phil Leigh Cycling, and Jo Hopkins SINI.