Hertfordshire Sports Village in Hatfield given seal of approval by Olympic chief

PUBLISHED: 18:30 11 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:08 26 October 2009

Paul Deighton (left) chats with the University of Hertfordshire's Nigel Brooking

Paul Deighton (left) chats with the University of Hertfordshire's Nigel Brooking

A SPORTS complex earmarked as a training camp for London 2012 has been given the thumbs-up by a top Olympic chief. Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, visited Hertfordshire

Paul Deighton chats exclusively to WHT reporter Chris Richards

A SPORTS complex earmarked as a training camp for London 2012 has been given the thumbs-up by a top Olympic chief.

Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, visited Hertfordshire Sports Village at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield this afternoon (Wednesday), to check out the facilities for himself.

The venue, which is currently used by both the university and Saracens RFC, is one of 17 camps across the county where Olympic teams will be able to train in the lead up to 2012.

Speaking exclusively to the WHT, Mr Deighton said he was impressed with what the facility had to offer.

"This is a fantastic venue for the university, for the rugby team (Saracens) and for the community," he said.

"It is a professional location for teams to come over here for 2012."

He added: "Everybody here is totally excited and has really bought into the project."

"If you do your preparation here you can be in the Olympic Village in London in 45 minutes.

"What could be better?"

Mr Deighton, a former banker for Goldman Sachs, said Hertfordshire has a "vital" role to play in preparations and believed the event offered a "great opportunity" for Welwyn Hatfield.

"Hertfordshire is right at the heart of the Games," he said, "and here you are at the gateway to the Games."

"For me it is as much a Hertfordshire Games as it is a London Games."

The venue, which is located on the de Havilland campus, can cater for Olympic teams wishing to train in badminton, basketball, fencing, judo and wrestling.

It can also provide goalball, judo, volleyball and wheelchair basketball facilities for Paralympic teams.

For more information go to www.hertssportsvillage.co.uk

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