Olympic team to be based at Surrey Sports Park

Image caption,
Sir Vivian Richards (centre) visited the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford on Friday

Cricketing legend Sir Vivian Richards has been at the signing of an agreement to base the Antigua and Barbuda Olympic team in Surrey for the 2012 Games.

He was joined by former England captain and Surrey batsman Alec Stewart at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford on Friday as the deal was sealed.

Athletes from the Caribbean nation will train in the county for the London Olympics in two years' time.

They will also be using facilities at Guildford Spectrum sports complex.

Former West Indian cricketer Sir Vivian was part of the Antigua and Barbuda Olympic delegation attending the signing ceremony, while Mr Stewart is a Surrey Sports Park ambassador.

'Very excited'

The park, which was officially opened in April, is owned by the University of Surrey. In August, it hosted the group stages of the Women's Rugby World Cup.

"We are very excited to have agreed to host Antigua and Barbuda here in Surrey and at Surrey Sports Park," said chief executive Jason Harborow.

"Our facilities and accommodation will offer a world-class training environment in which their athletes can train and prepare for a successful London 2012 Games.

"We hope to secure further agreements with other nations in the coming months and it's great to have this agreement already in place."

Deputy leader of Surrey County Council David Hodge said it was in advanced talks with a number of other nations interested in being based in the county.

"Outstanding facilities have helped us sell our county as an attractive place to stay," he said.

"Each Olympic and Paralympic organising committee has £25,000 to spend on their training for the Games which will benefit the local economy."

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