Posted 15 April 2010
UCD announces London 2012 Pre-Olympic Training Campus in the company of Irish Olympians
International teams participating in the London 2012 Olympics will need a base that is close to London and is fully consistent with their training and preparation needs as athletes.
University College Dublin, in the company of more than 20 Irish Olympians, announced its showcase of sporting and training facilities on offer to international teams in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics. The university is also seeking the support of ambassadors to encourage their teams to consider UCD as their pre-Olympics training campus.
UCD has a long history of producing some fine Olympic athletes including: six of the eight-man rowing crew in the 1948 Olympics, track and field athletes James Nolan, David Matthews, Derval O’Rourke, and Joanne Cuddihy, and swimmer Gary O’Toole. In keeping with the strong tradition of sport at University College Dublin, the facilities have been developed to a world class standard.
Pictured at the UCD announcement (l-r): The Minister for Tourism, Culture & Sport, Mary Hanafin TD with Irish athletes, Brendan O'Kelly and Jimmy Reardon, who competed in the 1948 Olympics (the last time the Olympics were hosted in London)
UCD is Ireland’s largest university and Dublin’s largest campus site with 330 acres. London is less than an hour away from Dublin, with over 40 flights daily. Dublin airport serves over 200 routes including USA and European Hubs. There are major similarities between Ireland and the UK in relation to climate, food and culture.
UCD has over 20 grass pitches and five synthetic pitches including the national hockey stadium and the UCD Bowl. There are two sports halls catering for a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports, strength and conditioning suites, a boxing ring, saunas and ice baths. The university is also currently constructing a 50 metre FINA standard Olympic swimming pool.
There is a 400m eight lane running track for track and field athletes to use on site. A dedicated sports science laboratory is located on campus which can specifically cater for the needs of elite level athletes. With a medical and physiotherapy centre located on campus and with close proximity to St Vincent’s Hospital medical needs are also catered for.
“There are potential benefits for Ireland from the London 2012 Games particularly for Irish tourism which is important in these challenging times,” said the Minister for Tourism, Culture & Sport, Mary Hanafin, who attended the announcement event.
“My Department is chairing a high level London 2012 coordinating group comprising of representatives of the arts, sports, tourism and cultural agencies, to explore and develop initiatives and opportunities across the various sectors to capitalise on the London Games. I believe that Ireland, Dublin and University College Dublin, has many complementary pre-Olympic training facilities available to support international teams as they prepare for their performance on the world stage.”
“University College Dublin has always been at the forefront of promoting sport whether through the provision of world class facilities or high achievement in sport. I recommend the excellent facilities at UCD and believe that Olympic athletes would benefit from using them,” said Patrick Hickey, President, European Olympic Committees Member of the International Olympic Committee. “I would encourage other nations to consider basing their Olympic and Paralympic 2012 preparations at University College Dublin.”
Among the Irish Olympians in attendance at the event were: Jimmy Reardon (London ’48) and Brendan O’Kelly (London ’48); Maeve Kyle OBE – Ireland’s first lady Olympian, who represented Ireland in 3 Olympics (1956, 1960 and 1964); Ronnie Delany (Gold – Melbourne Olympics 1956), and Michael Carruth (Gold – Barcelona Olympics 1992).
Ireland has 23 Olympic Medals - 12 of them for boxing.
Olympic sports that UCD can offer pre-Olympic training campus for include:
Archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, diving, fencing, football, handball, hockey, judo, rowing*, sailing*, shooting, swimming, synchronised swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, trampoline, indoor volleyball, water polo, wrestling
(*denotes off-campus access)
Paralympic sports that UCD can offer pre-Olympic training campus for include:
Paralympic athletics, paralympic archery, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, football five-a-side, football seven-a-side, wheelchair rugby, paralympic judo, * paralympic rowing, paralympic swimming, paralympic table tennis, * paralympic sailing, wheelchair tennis, paralympic volleyball.
(*denotes off-campus access)
(Produced by UCD University Relations)