The University of Bath has become used to hosting some of the world’s tops sports teams and individual stars but the renowned £30 million Team Bath Sports Training Village (STV) is just about to get one of its toughest tests yet.
In the next 16 days the Team Bath will host an Olympic-level team from Malaysia (12-20 August), 600 athletes in the UK Transplant Games (19-22 August) and the inaugural summer ParalympicsGB camp (25-30 August).
Local people are welcome to spectate at the Transplant Games and, on 25 August from 5.30- 7pm at the STV, will have the opportunity to form an audience for Channel 4 when TV presenters and former sports stars Ade Adepitan and Iwan Thomas put two teams they have coached to the test during the ParalympicsGB camp.
The influx of leading athletes from around the UK and overseas will add to the Bath-based athletes from a number of sports who are in training either for their own World and European Championships or the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October.
“It’s an interesting mix of activity and shows the versatility of our operations”, said Michael Hoch, Team Bath’s Chief Operating Officer. “We look forward to the challenge.”
Malaysia’s top badminton players, some of the finest in the world – are the first to arrive. They start training this week at the University of Bath’s Sports Training Village as they build up to the World Badminton Championships taking place in Paris from 23-28 August.
Badminton Malaysia has taken advantage of an exchange agreement between the University of Bath and the Malaysian Government that runs through 2012 to the Commonwealth Games of 2014. Bath will be used regularly as a preparation camp base for Malaysian sportsmen and women when they are in Europe.
The UK Transplant Games starts next week (19 August) with more than 600 athletes, all of whom are organ recipients taking part in 20 different sports hosted mainly at the University’s Sports Training Village but also using venues around Bath.
Local Organising Committee Chair Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst MBE is hopeful that the event will draw in local specators. She said: “We want as many people as possible to cheer the participants on as they compete in sports ranging from swimming and badminton to running and archery.” For a full timetable of events visit: Transplant Sport website
STV operations manager Ron Stewart will then have less than 48 hours to transform the STV after the Transplant Games into a venue for the ParalympicsGB Preparation Camp; one of three more to be hosted by the University in the lead-up to the 2012 Games.
The first ParalympicsGB Camp in Bath took place in January of this year and there will be further editions in August 2011 and 2012.
Over 160 athletes from 14 sports will train at Bath this time round. Vitally, they will get experience of a multi-sport environment which will help them learn to focus when they move into the hubbub of the 2012 home Games Village.
Athletes and their support staff will be offered a series of workshops to assist their preparations in some of the most comprehensive delivery yet for the sports.
“ParalympicsGB believe that the preparation camps will play a vital role in the success of the British team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games” said British Paralympic Association Communications Director Jane Jones today.
“ParalympicsGB have run pre-Games camps since Atlanta 1996. The camps have proved a useful method of providing athletes with a distraction free environment in which to conduct their final preparations ahead of the Games”, she added. For further information about ParalympicsGB visit: British Paralympics website
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its Team Bath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.”