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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 23:12 GMT 00:12 UK
Overseas athletes to get 2012 aid
London 2012 logo
Overseas Olympic and Paralympic teams will be awarded grants totalling 9m to encourage the use of UK-based training camps ahead of the London 2012 Games.

Teams will be able to apply for up to 26,000 towards the cost of preparing their athletes at UK-designated camps.

"This represents a very special opportunity for us all to reach out and welcome the world's athletes to the UK," said 2012 chairman Lord Coe.

He said it put athletes' welfare "at the heart" of planning for the Games.

The Pre-Games Training Camp Grant Scheme will enable all 203 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the 161 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) to apply for credit.

Grants will only be awarded to teams that use approved UK training camps that feature in the Pre-Games Training Camp Guide to be issued in 2008.

The grants will help athletes from smaller nations who would not otherwise have the financial resources to use pre-Games training camps

Debbie Jevans, London 2012 Organising Committee

"We have always been serious when we said that we wanted the London 2012 Games to be the sporting experience of a lifetime for all competing athletes," said Lord Coe.

"Our grant plan is one example, but an important one, of how we plan to honour that pledge and place the welfare of athletes at the very heart of planning for the Games.

"That is our commitment to the world's athletes and we won't let them or their countries down."

It is hoped that in offering incentives to train in the UK rather than abroad, Games-related benefits for London and the UK will be maximised.

"This represents a special opportunity for us all to reach out and welcome the world's athletes to the UK, to showcase our towns, cities, regions and nations and form friendships that will last a lifetime and bring us all closer together through sport, in the true Olympic spirit," Lord Coe added.

Debbie Jevans, director of sport at the London 2012 Organising Committee, said: "The grants will be allocated fairly and equitably and will be given to off-set the cost of essential services such as facility use.

"The grants will help athletes from smaller nations who would not otherwise have the financial resources to use pre-Games training camps."

British Olympic Association chief executive Simon Clegg said: "When you consider that half of the 203 national Olympic committees compete with 10 or less athletes, this generous grant will ensure many of the teams' entire pre-London preparation camp needs will be covered."



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