Namibian and Zambian Olympians to train in Glasgow

Image caption,
Accredited facilities include the Toryglen Indoor Football Centre

National Olympic teams from Namibia and Zambia are to base their training camps for the 2012 London Olympics in Glasgow.

The African nations will use the Palace of Art Centre for Sport Excellence in Bellahouston Park and Scotstoun Leisure Centre in the weeks before the games.

They are the first such training camp agreements to be confirmed in Scotland.

Organisers of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow aim to use the city's improving facilities to attract more teams before London 2012.

Glasgow's Lord Provost, Bob Winter, said: "This is a tremendous endorsement for the city's world-class sporting facilities, and we hope that other national Olympic teams follow this lead.

"As more and more countries start to plan their arrangements to train in the lead up to the Olympics, it is not surprising that there is interest in our venues from as far afield as southern African countries, and the decision of Namibia and Zambia is all the more pleasing given the historic links between these countries and Glasgow and Scotland."

Glasgow currently has three approved training venues for the London games.

Namibia and Zambia have opted to use the Bellahouston and Scotstoun venues. The other is the Toryglen Regional Indoor Football Centre.

The facilities were given official recognition by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games as accredited venues for the camps.

The national sport development agency - Sportscotland - invested more than £6m in the three venues.

'Right choice'

Miriam Moyo, president of the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, said Glasgow had the type of facilities her nation's team need.

"We sincerely believe we made the right choice and look forward to our small team deriving the most out of the Glasgow venues," she said.

"Looking ahead to 2014 and beyond, Glasgow also allowed us to plan and consider our needs beyond the London Olympics.

"Certainly with Namibia already on board, and hopefully soon a few more southern African countries, Glasgow will provide a very homely and welcoming setting for our athletes."

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