Sport England consider Ipswich venues

SPORT England today began the process of assessing Ipswich's sporting venues and identifying possible locations for hosting international teams in the lead-up to the 2012 Games.

SPORT England today began the process of assessing Ipswich's sporting venues and identifying possible locations for hosting international teams in the lead-up to the 2012 Games.

The sporting body says there are major opportunities throughout the region to provide training camps for teams – such as at the Piper's Vale gymnastics club in Ipswich.

The international standard venue has already hosted the Romanian team for a training camp and could be Ipswich's best chance to lure a big-name country to the town before the London Games.

Adam Rigarlsford , Sport England's regional Olympic lead officer, said: "We are starting to look at what is needed for the various sports.

"It's very promising. We have got some high quality sporting provision in the east of England.

"I'm sure we'll come up with some really quite exciting opportunities for countries to come and prepare."

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Sport England's east of England division is holding a meeting tomorrow to determine how many officers will be charged with putting the region at the fore of the Olympic preparations.

Energies are also to be aimed at encouraging as many people as possible from Suffolk to participate in the event, whether it be as competitors, volunteers or simply spectators.

Mr Rigarlsford said: "Hopefully it will encourage the next generation of people to be involved, not just in sport but to be more active.

"For our region's population, being on the doorstep of London is a great opportunity, whether it's to go down and spectate or to be participants."

The London Games will require 70,000 volunteers to help it run smoothly and the hope is that thousands of those will come from Suffolk.

Mr Rigarlsford said: "There's opportunities for people from all walks of life to be involved."

n. Do you think the Olympics will encourage people to become more active? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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