Athletics Australia heading to Kent ahead of Olympics

The Olympic athletics team from Australia has announced it will train in Kent ahead of the 2012 games.

Athletics Australia will be based at Tonbridge School, one of the country's leading boys' boarding schools.

Its international standard sports facilities, excellent accommodation, and other support services led to the decision, Kent County Council said.

Belarus, Ukraine and Slovenia have already agreed to train in Kent before the Olympic Games.

'Long-term links'

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Tuesday between Athletics Australia's president Rob Fildes, Tonbridge School's head master Tim Haynes, and Kent County Council's cabinet member Mike Hill for the squad to train at the school in 2012.

Also present and supporting the event were Lord Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Committee and LOCOG board member, and Kent athlete Dame Kelly Holmes.

Chris Hespe, Kent's head of Sport, Leisure and Olympics Service, said: "Our aim is to bring the Olympics and Paralympics into Kent and build long-term educational, cultural, sporting, tourism and economic links.

"There are now more nations signed up to train in Kent than any other county in the UK with agreements also signed with Ukraine, Belarus and Slovenia."

Athletics Australia will field a squad of about 40 athletes at the London Olympic Games.

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