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Paralympians welcomed

07 July 2010

Nick Bartlett with Wenlock and the Australian Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball TeamNick Bartlett with Wenlock and the Australian Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Team

A gold-medal winning paralympic team have made the most of the University’s sporting facilities as part of a four day training camp in Cardiff.

The Australian Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Team was welcomed to the Cardiff University Sport Centre - Talybont to prepare for the World Championships later this month. They are the first team to benefit from the University’s extensive sporting facilities ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Australia are the current Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Champions, winning gold at the Beijing games in 2008. The squad will return to Wales in 2012 when the University will again be the venue for their two week pre- Olympics training camp.

Speaking about hosting the team, Head of Sport and Exercise at Cardiff, Stuart Vanstone said: "We are two years away from what will be the biggest sporting event hosted in the UK in our lifetime. This is the first visit from an Australian team who have agreed to use Cardiff as a pre-games training camp prior to the 2012 games. As part of our legacy plans associated with the games we have benefited from the visit that enabled the team to familiarise and acclimatise ahead of 2012.

"We are working extensively with a number of local and national partners to maximise the potential for the University to benefit from the games hosted in London and this is the first of what will be a number of Olympic and Paralympic associated camps and events. We will be announcing further camps and events in the coming weeks."

During their visit to Cardiff, the Australian squad took time out of their schedule to meet Wenlock, one of London’s Olympic and Paralympic mascots at an event in Cardiff Bay.

Wenlock – named after Much Wenlock in Shropshire, considered to be the birthplace of the modern Olympics - was in Cardiff to meet children who had won the visit in a national competition. The Australians were accompanied by Nick Bartlett from the University’s Sport and Exercise Department who had been liaising and organising team logistics during their visit to Wales.

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