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11 July 2006 PR 06/81

London 2012 comes to Loughborough

It may only be 2006, but Loughborough is already counting down to 2012.

With a little over 2,000 days to go to the biggest sporting event ever to be staged in Britain, the excitement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be captured today (11 July) when a special UK-wide travelling Roadshow visits the region, its second stop outside London.

Olympic gold medallist Jonathan Edwards, now a member of the Board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, and Jack Lemley, Chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, are two of the big names coming to the East Midlands.

Arriving at Loughborough University at lunchtime, the Roadshow will stop off at the state-of-the-art High Performance Athletics Centre.

There the tour party will meet invited guests and Sport England’s 2012 advocates – Goldie Sayers (athletics), Jayant Mistry (wheelchair tennis), Ross Davenport (swimming), Donna Kellogg (badminton), Jeanette Brakewell (3 day eventing), Campbell Walsh (canoeing), Helen Reeves (canoeing) and Brian Steel (cycling). Goldie Sayers and Donna Kellogg are both graduates of the University, and Ross Davenport trains in the University’s swimming programme.

The VIP party will also be able to see the University’s high performance coaches putting their athletes through their paces, and around 80 children from two local schools will be taking part in multi-sport activities on the University athletics track.

“Loughborough is known as the home of performance sport, with many of the country’s international sports men and women having studied and trained here. We’re also heavily involved in grass-roots sport and see the forthcoming Olympics as an opportunity to inspire and encourage young people to take part in healthy sporting activity. We are delighted to be welcoming the Roadshow to the University and to be able to show the delegates the breadth of our activities,” says Chris Earle Director of Sport at Loughborough.

During its East Midlands visit, the Roadshow will also stop off at Saffron Lane Athletics Club in Leicester, Q Active at Queen’s Campus Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, and Pride Park Stadium in Derby.

The 2012 message is being taken to every corner of the UK, with the Roadshow bus visiting towns and cities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in a 3,000 mile odyssey that began on 6 July, the first anniversary of London’s dramatic success in Singapore last year.

More than 50 locations are being visited by the bus, which is carrying top names from London 2012, the Government and sport – bringing with them the latest news on progress in the last 12 months and future plans.

The specially-branded bus – bearing images of some of the country’s most famous Olympians and internationally-known locations – was waved off last week in Trafalgar Square in London, where crowds gathered for the result of the 2012 vote last summer.

Its journey will end in Liverpool at the end of July, exactly six years before the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Across the country the Roadshow is calling in at a wide variety of locations, including major cities, 2012 venues and sporting events. It will inform local people about preparations for 2012, what the Games can mean for them and how they can get involved.

The Roadshow’s programme across the UK will include events to remind businesses about the economic opportunities presented by the Games. It will also reinforce the message that the UK will be hosting two great events, the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. In addition there will be a strong focus on tourism benefits, the Cultural Olympiad from 2008 to 2012, volunteering and diversity.

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell is one of those taking part in the Roadshow. She said: “2012 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we have got to make sure everyone can see the benefits and feel part of this extraordinary event.”

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, said: “We hope this Roadshow will help people to appreciate just how inspirational the Games can be and the relevance they can have for them and their local communities.”

As part of the Roadshow, Tessa Jowell will be hosting an economic benefits conference in Leeds on 19 July, which business leaders from the East Midlands will be attending. This will explore the wider economic benefits for the whole country from the 2012 Games.

- Ends -

For further information on the press release contact:

To discuss media opportunities during the Roadshow contact:

For further information about Loughborough University contact:


Notes to editors

  1. At Loughborough University
    Steve Rippon (High Performance Pole Vault Coach) will be coaching elite Pole Vaulters Steve Lewis, Kate Dennison, Ashley Swain, taking them through gymnastics drills on the plyometric strip and high bar. All these are senior international athletes. Loughborough Student Lewis won a Bronze at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

    Terry Lomax (High Performance Decathlon Coach) will be coaching High Jump with Lewis Robson, Louis Evling Jones and Adrian Hemery – Evling Jones and Hemery are both international decathletes. Hemery is also the son of David, former GB Olympian.

    John Nuttall (High Performance Endurance Coach) will be coaching a group of elite Middle Distance runners. Athletes taking part are likely to include: Chris Thompson (former European U23 5,000m champion); Dani Barnes (1,500m world juniors athlete); Rachel Thompson (GB U23 international at 800m); Catherine Riley (England international 800m).

    Alan Richardson (Pole Vault Coach) will be coaching two or three high potential Pole Vaulters on the jumps bed and bar including Paul Walker (GB U23 international & BUSA medallist 2006) and Emily Taylor (English Schools medallist 2006).

    Nick Dakin (High Performance and Loughborough University Hurdles Coach) will be outside on the track with the elite 400m Hurdles squad. The squad will include Loughborough University athlete and Commonwealth Games finalist Rhys Williams (400m Hurdles European U23 champion) and Faye Harding (GB Junior international 400m Hurdles).

    Also in the High Performance Athletics Centre will be:
    Ricki Soos – Loughborough graduate (Olympic 800m semi-finalist);
    Lisa Dobriskey – Loughborough graduate (Commonwealth Games 1500m Gold Medallist)
    George Gandy – Loughborough Univeirsty Director of Athletics and coach to Dobriskey.

  2. Other visits in the region
    At Saffron Lane Athletics Club at Leicester the focus was on young people performing dance, music and cultural events linked to the 2012 Games and participating in a variety of sports.

    At Q Active at Queen’s Medical Centre Campus of Nottingham University Nottingham University Hospitals the VIPs looked at the wellbeing facilities available for staff at the hospital and focused on the volunteer and community sector

    Pride Park Stadium in Derby rounded off the regional tour and highlighted the potential opportunities to be gained by local businesses in the region.

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