Ipswich supports Olympic bid

IPSWICH today threw its full support behind London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.The town is in the right place at the right time to benefit from the campaign and has the capacity to host teams and tourists, according to James Hehir, the borough council's chief executive.

IPSWICH today threw its full support behind London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

The town is in the right place at the right time to benefit from the campaign and has the capacity to host teams and tourists, according to James Hehir, the borough council's chief executive.

He said: "Ipswich is the sporting capital of the Eastern Region and can help meet the training and accommodation needs of athletes in eight years' time.

"Our facilities are world class and getting better. We have a superb and expanding gymnastics centre, which was used this year by the Romanian British teams on their way to Athens, and we have an excellent athletics track at Northgate.


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He added: "Our own Karen Pickering trains at Crown Pools and we have a state-of-the-art football stadium at Portman Road."

His comments come after a high-profile member of the London 2012 bid team visited Ipswich this week to bolster support in the region and discuss ways in which the county can benefit from the games.

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Jude Kelly, chairman of the arts, culture and education committee for the bid team, was impressed by the strength of support by sporting and cultural bodies in the east of England.

At only an hour away from the proposed Olympic site in Stratford, Ipswich would be an ideal platform for training.

And surrounded by countryside and culture, the region is primed to exploit the multi-million pound economic boom that is generated by holding the biggest show in the world.

Mr Hehir said: "The growth in population over the coming decade (more than 300,000 people currently live within 15 miles of Ipswich town centre) will mean Ipswich has the capacity and zeal to handle visiting teams and supporters.

"By 2012 we will have a well-established university which will, itself, energise cultural development. We have the necessary economic growth, the important links through IP-City and the Cambridge to Ipswich hi-tech corridor and the leisure and sporting infrastructure to offer a lot to the campaign."

The bid team is due to submit its final document next month. The International Olympic Committee will visit London in February before voting in July for the successful candidate.

London is competing against Paris, New York, Madrid and Moscow for the Olympic Games.

If you would like to show your support for the bid, visit the online petition at www.london2012.com

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