World champion boxer Ricky Burns put some of Africa’s leading sportsmen and women through their paces today (Tuesday 19 July) during a sparring session in Glasgow.
Coatbridge born Burns, who retained his WBO super-featherweight title against Nicky Cook at the weekend, hooked up with a group of Zambian athletes who are currently in the city for a high-performance training camp ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The delegation, which includes athletes, boxers, swimmers, badminton players, coaches and officials are nearing the end of the three-week training camp. It has been organised by Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council and forms part of the city's commitment to leaving a lasting legacy from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
During their stay in Glasgow, the Zambian sportsmen and women are undergoing an intensive training programme at several of the city's world-class sports facilities including the Palace of Art Centre for Sports Excellence, Scotstoun Stadium, the Glasgow Club Tollcross, the National Badminton Academy and Glasgow School of Sport.
Speaking at yesterday’s training session in Morrison’s Gym in Dalmarnock, Chair of Glasgow Life Councillor George Redmond, said: "It was a fantastic opportunity for our friends from Zambia to come and see our very own Ricky Burns work out in his own gym. You could see from the smiles on their faces just how much it meant it to them.”
Three Glasgow venues have already been officially recognised as accredited venues for the training camps by the London Organising Committee of the Olympics (LOCOG). They are Scotstoun Stadium and Sports Campus, the Palace of Art Centre for Sports Excellence and Toryglen Regional Football Centre.
Scotstoun Stadium and Sports Campus is a LOCOG-accredited venue for athletics, paralympic athletics and badminton. The Palace of Art Centre for Sports Excellence is an accredited venue for boxing, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, weightlighting and wrestling and Toryglen Regional Football Centre is accredited for football.
The Zambian delegation is staying in the University of Strathclyde halls of residence during their visit to Glasgow, to give them experience of an environment similar to an athlete’s village.