Australia’s Olympic gymnasts could vault into Lowestoft ahead of London 2012
Australian olympians could chose a north Suffolk gymnastics club when they train ahead of the London 2012 games.
Australian olympians could be coming to a north Suffolk gymnastics club to train ahead of the London 2012 games.
Six months after the Canadian Gymnastics Federation announced that its gymnasts will use the Waveney Gymnastics Club in Lowestoft, it has been revealed that Australians althletes may follow suit.
Australian gymnast Prashanth Sellathurai, who clinched a gold medal at the Delhi Comonwealth Games last year, will visit the gym in Southwell Road on March 21, staying for just over a week while he competes at World Championship events in Paris and Doha in Qatar.
He will be joined by an Australian international coach and judge and use the trip as a scouting mission.
'They'll be using it as a bit of a reconnaissance to see if they could train here in the run up to London 2012,' said Waveney's centre manager Vikki Rogers, who believes the London 2012 games will inspire generations of youngsters across Norfolk and Suffolk.
'People see our club's baby and toddler groups, but don't realise that we can also accommodate these Olympic athletes too. They think Lowestoft wouldn't be able to deliver that, but we're determined to make the most of this opportunity.
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'This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for local people to see international Olympic athletes on their doorstep and there's real scope for a lasting legency if we can inspire younger generations.'
While Suffolk has successfully attracted a number of Olympic squads - Azerbaijan's team will in Ipswich and Rwanda will be based in Bury St Edmunds - so for no teams have taken up offers to train in Norfolk.
The five Norfolk venues on the list of approved 'Pre-Games Training Camps' are Central Beach in Great Yarmouth for beach volleyball, Cromer Tennis and Squash Club, Lynnsport and Leisure Club, Norwich City Football Club's Colney Training Centre and Whitlingham Outdoor Education Centre.
Once they have qualified for the Olympics, sports teams and individual athletes from all over the world will be looking to train in the UK in the weeks prior to the games.
The Canadian men's gymnastis squad spent 10 days training in Lowestoft, making use of Waveney's Gymnastics Club's state-of-the-art gym equipment, back in September 2009 before the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the O2 Arena in London. They have now signed a 'memorandum of understanding' confirming their intent to use the venue as their base in the build up to the 2012 games.
To find out more about Norfolk's involvement in the 2012 games see www.norfolkcelebratingtalent.co.uk.