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9 June 2008

Paralympic success matches Olympic achievement

THE MMU Cheshire Consortium was included in the official London 2012 Olympic Pre-Games Training Camp Guide as a multi-sport venue in March 2008. The London Organising Committee has now announced that the Consortium has also been included in the official Paralympic Guide.

This is a major success for the Consortium that comprises the local university (MMU Cheshire) and Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council.

In total, the Consortium is able to host international teams wanting a training and acclimatisation camp for 12 sports including 5 Olympic and Paralympic sports (archery, basketball, fencing, table tennis and volleyball), 5 Olympic sports (athletics, badminton, BMX, football and triathlon) and 2 Paralympic sports (boccia and wheelchair basketball).

The University has an international reputation for sport and exercise science and the Borough Council has a well established track record supporting activities for local residents with a disability and community development.

Perfect location

The University’s recently built Booth Hall is seen as a perfect location to host elite able-bodied athletes and those with a disability.

Professor Les Burwitz, who is leading the university’s bid, said: "This achievement reflects the Consortium’s track record of supporting disability sports, our capability of
hosting one or more National Paralympic Committee teams and our commitment to
accommodating their requirements.

"It is also an opportunity to make the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games ‘Our Games’ with numerous advantages for local residents including students including enhanced sport and physical activity facilities; better coaching and sport club structures creating more opportunities for higher level performers; additional sport-related volunteering; and increased physical activity leading to improved health and well being, educational attainment, community cohesion and reduced crime and disorder.

In addition, possibilities exist for beneficial twinning arrangements, cultural activities, student exchange, business and economic developments and tourism."

Sporting legacy

Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee and a local resident, said: "Team work, volunteerism and sports participation are the keys here to establishing a sporting energy centre for decades to come."

Dennis Dunn, Dean of MMU Cheshire said: "These are exciting times for the University, the Borough Council and the new Cheshire East Unitary Authority. Together we can create something that will have a positive impact on the lives of numerous local people for many years to come."

Brian Silvester, the Mayor of Crewe and Nantwich, commented: "Being a part of this unique achievement is a fantastic opportunity for Crewe & Nantwich in terms of promoting our facilities, introducing Crewe and the surrounding areas to a worldwide audience and strengthening the local economy."

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