Manchester to host Australia's Olympic Swimming Team - MIDAS

Manchester to host Australia’s Olympic Swimming Team

23 January, 2009

Manchester has been chosen as the training camp for the Australian Olympic Swimming Team, in the run up to the London Olympic Games in 2012.

Swim Australia, one of the world's biggest and most high profile teams, has signed a long-term deal with Manchester City Council, which will see them train at the Manchester Aquatics Centre in preparation for at least three major competitions until 2014.

The deal has been supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency as part of their role in helping to secure training camps for the region in the lead up to London 2012. This adds to announcements in late 2008 that Thailand and the 15 Pacific Island nations in Oceania have agreed to base themselves in England’s Northwest.

Marketing Manchester and Manchester Sport and Leisure Trust, who manage the Manchester Aquatics Centre, have also worked closely with Manchester City Council to make this agreement possible, which is one of the biggest signings for the country to date in the lead up to London 2012, and further strengthening Manchester’s profile and reputation on the international stage.

The news demonstrates the wider UK benefits of hosting the 2012 Olympics in London and is further proof of Manchester’s tremendous sporting legacy, borne out of the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

Swim Australia’s training programme in the city will commence this summer prior to the World Swimming Championships in Rome, before returning in 2012 to prepare for the London Olympic Games and again in 2014, ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The team will utilise both 50-metre pools at the Manchester Aquatic Centre, a purpose built, state-of-the-art venue which regularly hosts world class swimming events and is home to the highly successful British Paralympic swimming team.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council said: "We’re absolutely delighted that a swimming team of Australia’s calibre has chosen Manchester as its training base for these world events. It is testament to the sports facilities and infrastructure that Manchester has available for elite athletes such as Swim Australia that they have opted to train here for their next three international competitions. We look forward to welcoming them to the city and wish them every success now and in the future."

Peter Mearns, NWDA Executive Director of Marketing & Communications, said: "Today’s announcement is yet another coup for Manchester, and the Northwest, in our bid to host world-class athletes ahead of London 2012. The Agency is delighted that Swim Australia has decided to take advantage of all the region has to offer – not only our excellent training camps infrastructure but also our outstanding culture and passion for sport. We very much look forward to capitalising on the economic benefits of this announcement and will continue to work closely with our partners to attract more countries to England’s Northwest."

Andrew Stokes, chief executive of Marketing Manchester, the agency charged with promoting the city on a national and international stage, said: "Manchester is quite rightly regarded as one of the world’s great sporting cities. Last year we put our stamp on six world championship sports events, not least of all the FINA World Swimming Championships, which were staged in a unique way and showcased one of our best venues – the MEN Arena. Swim Australia’s decision to train in Manchester is a great coup for the city and provides further evidence of the city-region’s international appeal.

"Swim Australia is one of the world’s best swimming teams and is frequently placed in the top two, along with the USA. Their incredible performance at the Beijing Olympics 2008 saw almost 50% of the country’s gold medals won in the swimming pool, with the team also picking up six silver and eight bronze medals."

For information on the Manchester Aquatics Centre please visit
 www.manchestersportandleisure.org.

Source: Manchester City Council

Link: http://www.manchester.gov.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=4396

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