Page last updated at 02:21 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Team US picks University of East London as Olympic base

18m sports and academic centre at the Docklands campus
The 18m sports centre is due to open in late 2011

The United States' Olympics team is to use University of East London (UEL) campuses as its 2012 Games base.

More than 1,000 competitors, coaches and medical staff will use UEL campuses in the Docklands and Stratford in east London, near the Olympic Park.

The athletes will also use UEL's halls of residence and set up a medical and media centre at the campus.

The 160-strong US track team will be based in Birmingham prior to the games before moving to London.

In October 2009, a deal was signed for the US athletes to train in various Birmingham venues.

'A privilege'

Olympic and Paralympic athletes from US team, nicknamed "Team USA, plan to use a new £18m sports and academic centre at the Docklands campus, provisionally named the Sports Dock, which is due to open in late 2011.

The centre includes a large indoor sports arena, ten badminton courts, two competition basketball, volleyball and netball courts, two five a side football pitches, a gym and fitness suite and covered seating for 400 people.

"It's a privilege the US Olympic Committee have selected us for their 2012 US Olympic training site," said Dr Paul Ford, director of Olympic and Paralympic partnership operations at UEL.

UEL's director of sport David Cosford said: "We're proud of our state-of-the-art facilities at both campuses as they highlight the recent investments we have made."

When selecting a venue, security is important, along with good access to hospitals, training, catering, so it gives athletes the best chance
LOCOG spokeswoman

In 2008, the British Olympic team chose Aldershot Army base, in Hampshire, for its training camp.

It is thought Aldershot was chosen for the British team, because of its secure location, despite being about 50 miles from the Olympic Park, in Stratford, east London.

When the site was chosen in January 2008, former British Olympic Association boss Simon Clegg said: "Security was a factor in terms of who knows where we are going to be in world security next year, let alone 2012."

When asked about security arrangements at UEL, Dr Ford said: "We have started working with the relevant security agencies for the games.

"We won't be discussing details about the arrangements."

A spokeswoman for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) said: "Being close to the Games is useful for teams."

"But there are good facilities across the UK, which we hope will be put to use.

"When selecting a venue, security is important, along with good access to hospitals, training, catering, so it gives athletes the best chance."



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