Durham University in 2012 games agreement

Durham University has become the first North East institution to secure an agreement to host athletes in the run up to the London 2012 Games.

The University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka for use of its sports facilities, where the team of athletes will train for medal success.

Dan Lewis, Deputy Director of Sport at Durham University, said: “We are very pleased to be able to offer Sri Lanka’s elite athletes the use of our sports facilities. We do a lot of work with local communities in Sri Lanka since the tsunami and we are always keen to further strengthen these links.

“Our students and partners will no doubt benefit from sharing the facilities with the Olympic athletes – feeling more closely connected to, and part of, the Olympics as a result. The planned facility developments over the next 18 months will further strengthen our resource to fulfill the needs of both our own world class athletes and those visiting us.”

The agreement, announced during a visit by Paul Deighton, Chief Executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, follows similar news announced in July that North East England is in discussions with the Colombian National Olympic Committee to identify regional venues to base its athletes ahead of the 2012 Games.

Mr Deighton said: “Being the first to sign a competing team for North East England is great news for Durham University and the surrounding areas. The Graham Sports Centre will help the Sri Lankan athletes train and prepare well for the 2012 Games.

“They are assured of a very warm welcome in North East England. It also gives the people of Durham a chance to get involved in the build up to the Games and potentially develop some exciting social and cultural programmes around the team’s visit.”

For more information on the London 2012 Games, access the official website at www.london2012.com.

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