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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Athletics Australia strikes deal with English school for Olympic Prep

Athletics Australia strikes deal with English school for Olympic Prep

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Athletics Australia strike deal with English private school for olympic preparation

by: Leo Schlink in London
From:Herald Sun
November 27, 2011

AUSTRALIA'S track and field athletes will be given unprecedented access to one of England's most exclusive - and ancient - private schools to prepare for the London Olympic Games.

Tonbridge School, a 500-year-old bastion of establishment learning, will throw open its doors to Australia in the lead up to next year's Games after striking a deal with Athletics Australia.

The boarding school boasts one of England's most illustrious lists of sports graduates, including a string of former Test cricket, Rugby, hockey and athletics stars.

Cricketer Lord Colin Cowdrey and several England and British Lions internationals are among the school's most famed products.

Up to 40 Australian athletes are expected to use the Kent base next year to fine-tune preparations at facilities described as the most expensive of any school in the United Kingdom.

The schools boasts a floodlit six-lane running track, 25-metre swimming pool and almost 40 hectares of sports fields.

The school was chosen by Athletics Australia after research showed it is sited in the warmest part of the UK and is only 40 minutes out of central London.

Australia's team is expected to assemble in Kent a month before the Games start on July 27.

Belarus, Ukraine and Slovenia will also be based in Kent before the Olympics.

Australia's swimmers will use Manchester as its headquarters ahead of the Games.

Swimming Australia has signed a long-term deal with Manchester City Council, which will see Australia train at the Manchester Aquatics Centre in preparation for at least three major competitions over the next three years.

One of those events will be the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

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