The United Kingdomâ€™s Gloucestershire University has declared itself ready to give the Malawi team a hearty welcome for pre-London 2012 Olympic Games training camp from June 25.
On their website update, the universityâ€™s professor David James has promised Malawi team state-of-the-art training facilities ahead of the Olympic Games to stretch from July 12 to August 12 2012.
“The project team is working with local facilities, clubs and community groups to ensure athletes have the best possible training environment. As we enter the final three-month build-up, we will be seeking to raise funds to support the project, launch our initiative for primary schools and provide regular updates about athletes who are selected,” James told recruitment.glos.ac.uk.
The university is working in partnership with Gloucestershire City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and Aspire Sports & Cultural Trust to create a Gloucestershire Consortium that will provide facilities for the Malawi Olympic team, says the website.
Gloucester City Council leader Paul James and South West England Board chairperson David Fursdon said they were delighted to welcome Malawi.
“We are delighted that MOC has chosen to train in Gloucestershire. The consortium has been working hard to engage the community to make the most of the Malawi teamâ€™s visit and to ensure that the relationship develops beyond the London 2012 Games to leave a lasting legacy for the people of Gloucestershire,” Fursdon told the website.
MOC, represented in the UK by its treasurer Jappie Mhango, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the university in March 2011 for the camp training.
As part of the agreement Cheltenham Borough Council will offer the Malawi team access to Leisure@Cheltenham, Sandford Park Lido and the Prince of Wales athletics stadium. Aspire Trust has promised access to tennis facilities at Plock Court and GL1.
MOC, which also wants to use the camp training to groom athletes for 2016 Brazil Olympics, expects to send about 10 athletesâ€”two each from swimming, athletics, boxing, taekwendo and weightlifting.
With taekwendo and boxing unable to send athletes to Olympic qualifying competitions, Mhango yesterday said Malawi might have to, as usual, bank on sending four athletes on solidarity.
“What the UK university is doing in making the latest announcement, is simply honouring our agreement. As for the disciplines that have been unable to send athletes to a qualifying competition there is no plan B. Our hope is on Mike Tebulo who is participating in an Olympic qualifying race in Botswana,” Mhango said, insisting that the mourning period for the presidewa nt Bingu Mutharika has not affected preparations.