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Sports Minister announces Chinese Pre-games Olympic Training Camp

28 September, 2011 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

The Men and Womens’ Chinese National Artistic Gymnastics teams will locate their Pre-games Training Camp at Salto National Gymnastics Centre, Lisburn.

The team will train in Lisburn before the Olympic Games in London next year. Making the announcement today, Minister Ní Chuilín said: “The world number one country in gymnastics has chosen the north of Ireland to achieve their Olympic goals. This news is to be greatly welcomed.

“China is renowned for excellence in gymnastics, topping the medals table at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing with 18 medals. Having the best in the world to train locally will raise the profile of the sport and the local facilities. This is something everyone can be proud of and I hope that this inspires our young people to get involved in sport.”

The Minister continued by congratulating the commitment of Sport Northern Ireland and Tony Byrne, CEO and high performance coach at Salto. She said: “There has been a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes for some time to promote venues in the north of Ireland, to national teams across the world.

“Following the visit in July by the Chinese coaches Xiong Jingbin and Jin Weiguo, hopes have been high that the national committee would agree for the teams to train here. The terrific facilities in Salto; the great relationships developed by Salto’s own coach Sun Jie; and the partnership adopted by my Department, Lisburn City Council and SportNI have resulted in the Chinese Teams’ decision to locate here.”

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