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4 June 2009 | PR 09/65

Loughborough University signs Olympic agreement with Japan

Loughborough University and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see both organisations working together until the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Watch the videoJOC President Tsunekazu Takeda and Loughborough University Vice Chancellor Professor Shirley Pearce officially agreed the document at a signing ceremony at the Japanese Embassy in London today (Thursday 4 June).

As well as basing themselves at Loughborough in the weeks immediately prior to the London Games, Japan’s Olympic teams will also use the University’s world class facilities for training camps and final preparations before competitions in Europe over the next three years, starting with the IAAF Athletics World Championships taking place in Berlin in August.

Japan have initially indicated that 15 sports, including athletics, hockey, tennis, triathlon, badminton, basketball and weightlifting, will use Loughborough University and selected regional facilities between now and the 2012 Games.

This MoU comes following a rigorous process undertaken by the University and regional partners including the East Midlands Development Agency (emda). The wide ranging agreement will also benefit the University’s academic research activity and teaching programmes, improve the student experience, develop cultural and business links in the region and help raise Loughborough’s international profile.

Loughborough University signs Olympic agreement with Japan Loughborough University’s Professor Pearce said:

“We are delighted to be able to announce Japan as the major nation basing themselves at Loughborough in the run up to the London Games. This is a very significant partnership that adds to our growing portfolio of relationships with major sports organisations and helps further our internationalisation strategy.

“There will be major cultural, academic and economic benefits arising from working with Japan. We are already in discussions to ensure University staff and students, the local Charnwood community and the wider East Midlands all gain from this new relationship.”

Tsunekazu TAKEDA, President of the JOC said:

"It is our pleasure to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Loughborough University. I'm glad that through this MoU Loughborough University, which has such an important reputation for sport in the UK, becomes our partner to help advance our preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games."

Jeff Moore, Chief Executive of East Midlands Development Agency (emda) said:

"I am extremely pleased that the Japanese Olympic Committee has chosen Loughborough University as its training base in Europe.

"emda has supported Loughborough in its efforts to attract a major team to use its outstanding facilities, and this success is testament to excellent partnership working. Having a team such as Japan based in Loughborough will also result in additional economic benefits to the East Midlands. Athletes and their support staff will enjoy their time in the region as they discover our visitor attractions, shops and restaurants beyond Loughborough’s superb campus."

Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, said:

"Loughborough University has world class training facilities and it is excellent news that the Japanese National Olympic Committee have chosen to base themselves there in the run-up to the London 2012 Games. Hosting visiting teams is a great way for towns to get involved in our plans.

“There are many facilities available for National Olympic and Paralympic teams to chose from throughout the UK, offering an excellent selection. As someone who has studied and trained at Loughborough University, I know the Japanese team will have the best preparation possible for the London Games."

Japan has a proud Olympic history and has competed in all but two of the Summer Olympics since 1912. At last year’s Beijing Games Japan finished eighth overall, winning nine gold, six silver and 10 bronze medals.

Under the terms of the agreement, the University will continue its extensive work with a wide range of sports governing bodies and will still play its unique part in the preparations of British competitors for London 2012.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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