Senegal Olympic team to train in Medway

Olympic athletes from Senegal have announced they will be training in Medway ahead of the 2012 Games.

Medway Council has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Senegal National Olympic and Sports Committee.

The squad will be training at Medway Park in Gillingham next summer before moving to the Olympic Park to compete.

The Senegal football team will use Gillingham Football Club's facilities for training if they qualify.

Gillingham FC chairman Paul Scally said he had already spoken to the team about the possibility of staging a practice match between Gillingham and Senegal.

Medway Park and Gillingham FC's Priestfield Stadium are two of five Medway venues that have both been approved by London 2012 as official pre-Games training venues, with Medway Park catering for 13 Olympic and eight Paralympic sports on one site.

The Paralympic Association of Barbados and Portuguese trampolining squad have also signed agreements to train at Medway Park and the neighbouring Jumpers Rebound Centre.

Seydina Omar Diagne, chef de mission for the Senegal Olympic Committee, said: "We have signed the agreement with Medway because it is a nice area that provides the right conditions for good Olympic preparation."

Lord Coe, chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said he was pleased that a team who had not had the opportunity to hold a training camp before were coming to Medway.

"Hopefully this sporting agreement will flourish into a longer-term relationship between Senegal and Medway benefiting both parties in sport, and perhaps even in other areas of interest like education or creating cultural exchange," he said.

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