There are only weeks to go until the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Team England are set to make their final preparations in Manchester.
In the week before the Commonwealth Games, 16 – 22 July, 100 athletes and 30 support staff from Team England will use the facilities at the Manchester Regional Arena, Sportcity, for their final preparations ahead of the competition.
Manchester was the last UK city to host the Commonwealth Games, in 2002, and the world-class facilities the city now boasts form an important part of the event’s legacy.
Manchester Regional Arena was developed from the original 2002 Commonwealth Games warm up track. As well as being used for elite competitions the arena regularly hosts school and community events and is open for use by the public.
July will also see the Australian Swim Team train at Manchester Aquatics Centre and the Australian Netball Team fine tune their skills at Wright Robinson Sports College, Gorton.
During their time in Manchester both teams will take time out from their busy training schedule to work with the local community. The swim team will be conduct an open training session for local clubs, featuring an interactive Q & A for coaches. Team members will also attend a school gala at the Aquatics Centre, to offer local children advice and encouragement.
The Australian Netball Team, known as the ‘Diamonds’, will also stag a coaches Q & A session as part of their camp, during which local umpires and officials will get the chance to officiate games involving the squad. The camp culminates with an exhibition charity match with Netball Superleague Champions Manchester Thunder.
Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council executive member for culture and leisure, said: “The Commonwealth Games 2002 left a very real legacy in Manchester, creating the foundations for the city to become an international sporting destination.
“The fact Team England and two of Australia’s highest profile squads are making use of our facilities in the run up to the Glasgow games is evidence of the quality of our sports venues.
“For anyone inspired by this summer’s competition I’d like to remind them that in Manchester we are lucky to all have access to the same sports tracks, arenas and pools as elite athletes.”
More about team england here – www.weareengland.org