Wrexham will play host to a team of Olympic athletes as their pre-games training camp it has been announced today.
The Lesotho National Olympic Committee has selected North Wales’ largest town as their base as they make their preparations in the lead up to London 2012.
The announcement builds on the existing strong links between Wrexham and Lesotho which has seen several local schools develop a partnership programme with Lesotho schools including The Maelor School, Penley with St. Saviour’s School, Leribe.
Wrexham councillors said that they were honoured that the town has been chosen following a selection process which showcased the town’s sporting infrastructure, facilities, professional approach of staff and the general friendliness of the people of Wrexham and Wales.
Cllr Bob Dutton OBE, Lead Member for Communities & Performance said: “With less than 200 days until the start of the Games this is a fantastic time to announce that an Olympic team has selected our town to use as a pre-games training camp.
“Wrexham Council is committed to creating a healthy, active and sporting town and it is an honour to welcome these inspiring and credible athletes to our area as they prepare to compete in the greatest world sporting event.”
Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Minister Huw Lewis AM said : “I’m pleased to hear that the Lesotho National Olympic Committee have chosen to base themselves in Wrexham. Pre-Olympic Games training camps provide valuable opportunities to develop sporting, educational and cultural exchanges with countries that come to Wales and provide opportunities for children and local communities to get involved, which should mean a positive games legacy for Wales.”
A spokesperson for the Lesotho Ministry for Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation said: “Wales and Lesotho established the first country-to-country link in the world back in 1985 with many schools, health personnel and churches having exchanged in the interim period and a Lesotho Consulate was established in Wales in 2001 in recognition of the bond.
“It was only natural then that we should choose Wales as our base. Wales also has some excellent sports facilities to help us in our preparations for the 2012 Olympics and, as many Basotho have visited and studied in Wales, our experience tells us that we will be guaranteed a very warm welcome and we’re very much looking forward to this opportunity.”