Nigeria sign to train in Surrey for London 2012

Submitted by ATAF Editor on 24 June 2011 - 9:36pm

The Nigerian National Olympic Committee (NOC) and Surrey Council today signed an agreement which will see the African nation based in Surrey for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.

A memorandum of understanding was signed at Surrey Sports Park on Friday 24 June between key representatives of both parties, including the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, Sani Ndanusa.

The agreement will see athletes representing Nigeria train and stay at key multi-sport venues in the county including the University of Surrey owned Surrey Sports Park and Guildford Spectrum, in preparation to the Games in just over a year's time.

Beijing Olympic taekwondo bronze medallist Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije and canoeist John Akinyemi were taken on a tour of the sporting facilities.

Paul Blanchard Surrey Sports Park Chief Executive, said, “It was pleasure to host the Nigerian Olympic Delegation here today and we are very excited to have agreed to host Nigeria here in Surrey and at Surrey Sports Park.

"We believe our facilities and accommodation will offer the Nigerian athletes world-class preparation for what we hope will be a successful Games for the nation."

"We've been working hard behind the scenes to sell Surrey as the best place for Olympic teams to base themselves in the run-up to and during the Games, so I'm delighted Nigeria has decided to train its athletes here," said Councillor Denise Saliagopoulos.

"I'm sure Surrey will give them a welcome they will never forget and I hope their presence will encourage even more people to take up sport."

Nigerian Olympic Committee president Sani Endanusa said Surrey's training facilities and closeness to Olympic venues were key to the decision to base his country's athletes in the county.

"At previous Olympic Games in Beijing and Athens we went there to perhaps participate only, but this time around of course we are competing.

"We are here to compete for medals, gold medals."

The Australian road cycling team, Antigua and Barbuda, Singapore, the Cayman Islands and the Croatian Paralympic Team have already announced they will train in Surrey.