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17 August 2010
Elite boxers from around the world will be welcomed to Cardiff following a decision by the International Boxing Association to hold its final Olympic preparation training camp at the University’s Talybont site.
Leading up to the 2012 Games in London, more than 100 selected boxers and coaches from emerging nations will be based at the University for their ‘Road to London’ preliminary training camp programmes.
The decision was made after the University, in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government and the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association (WABA) submitted a proposal to the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
Speaking about the training camp, Stuart Vanstone, Head of Sport and Exercise who represented the University throughout the proposal said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the University to work with elite sports men and women from around the world. We have been working extensively with the Assembly Government and the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association in producing the proposal and we are delighted that AIBA have chosen Cardiff as their training base for 2012 preparations. The AIBA training camp is in addition to the Australian Paralympic training camp that we are also hosting at the University and will ensure that we are firmly engaged in the Olympic and Paralympic movement ahead of London 2012. Legacy programs and associated benefits are being developed to ensure that we maximise the potential of our association with AIBA".
Talybont is listed as one of the country’s premiere sporting facilities in the London Olympic Games Organising Committee Pre-Games Training Camp Guide. To feature in the guide, sporting locations across the UK had to meet strict criteria. An entry in the guide does not guarantee that the venue will host international sportsmen and women - each institution, city and region has to actively promote their facilities.
AIBA’s decision to hold their Road to London training camp in Cardiff is a reflection of the range and quality of international standard sporting facilities in the capital and the quality of people and services available to visiting teams. The camp will bring economic, educational and cultural benefits to Wales as well as provide a tremendous sporting legacy opportunity for Welsh Amateur Boxing.
In addition to the London 2012 preparation camp which will take place immediately before the Games, AIBA is also looking to stage a Pre-Olympic Qualifying Event training camp in Cardiff in January 2012. This will also include coaching, refereeing and judging seminars.
Welsh Assembly Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, said: "AIBA’s decision is a tremendous result for Wales and for Welsh Amateur Boxing. Having Olympic boxers and coaches making final 2012 preparations in Cardiff will be inspirational for people associated with the sport in Wales. We are also delighted that Cardiff will provide the opportunity for AIBA to conduct various seminars for coaches, referees and judges from around the world".
Seb Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Olympic Organising Committee, said: "This is great news for Cardiff and for Wales. Cardiff will be a great training and acclimatisation base for these emerging boxing nations to make their final preparations prior to one of the most important competitions in their sporting careers. Hosting this camp will bring great benefits to the city such as an economic boost and the chance to develop sporting and cultural links. It is a great way for Cardiff to feel real benefits of the London 2012 Olympic Games and to get involved!"
"AIBA is proud to support boxers and coaches from emerging countries around the world leading up to London," said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu. "We provide funding for their travel, accommodation and board, hoping to give the boxers training and opportunities that they could not afford otherwise including all expenses of their participation in the major Championships. As we have seen in past editions of the ‘Road to’ programs, it is very successful in developing boxers."
Welsh Amateur Boxing Association representative David Francis said: "Welsh Amateur Boxing Association representation within AIBA is stronger than it has ever been, and we are pleased that the President of AIBA has the confidence in the WABA to stage this, as it is the biggest training event in the Olympic cycle. The support that we have had from WAG, Sport Wales and Cardiff University has been monumental".
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