Some of Africa's leading sportsmen and women have arrived in Glasgow for a high-performance training camp ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Zambian delegation, which includes athletes, boxers, badminton players, swimmers, coaches and officials were welcomed to the city's Scotstoun Stadium today by the Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor George Redmond.
The three-week training camp will help athletes, coaches and members of the Zambian National Olympic Committee with preparations ahead of London 2012.
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. Glasgow has focussed on attracting Commonwealth nations for the pre-London 2012 training camps and is also looking forward to welcoming a delegation from Namibia next year.
During their stay in Glasgow, the Zambian sportsmen and women will undergo 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. The visiting athletes will compete in the scottishathletics Senior National Athletics Championships in Scotstoun this weekend (Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July).
Speaking at Scotstoun Stadium, Councillor George Redmond, said: "Glasgow is one of the world's great sporting cities that has over the years won the hearts of sports stars from across the world. We are delighted to be welcoming our friends from Zambia and I am sure they will benefit greatly from the experiences that our world-class facilities and great city has to offer.
"The training camp will not only help the Zambian delegation prepare for the London 2012 Olympics and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, it will also help us foster links with Commonwealth nations - a key part of our legacy plans. I am sure the delegation will leave with fond memories of Glasgow."
The training programme is being led by leading coaches including Craig Robertson, the High Performance Badminton Coach at Glasgow School of Sport (bronze medallist at Commonwealth Games 2002) and Norrie Hay, the High Performance Athletics Coach at Glasgow School of Sport.
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.