Malborough alternative to Brickendonbury

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no clear sign of a training base emerging in Brickendonbury, London just yet but Malaysian athletes can take heart that there are other available places for them to set up camp.

One such centre is the Marlborough College. This sprawling area of 200 acres offers a wide range of facilities with outdoor and indoor arenas and has been included as one of pre-Games training base for teams going for the London 2012 Olympics.

The Marlborough College has offered their centre for Malaysia to prepare their athletes for the 2012 Games.

Marlborough College principle Nicholas Sampson said that most of their facilities are world class.

“We are truly delighted that the Marlborough College is accredited with LOGOC (London Olympic Games Organsing Committee) as a pre-Games training camp. We offer the best in sporting facilities and we will be happy to discuss with the Malaysian Sports fraternity on having a training base in London. The Games are four years away and this is an ideal time to look at the centre for their needs,” said Sampson yesterday.

Nicholas is in Kuala Lumpur for a fact-finding mission and also to offer Marlborough as a training camp for Malaysia.

Among the sports that can be housed in Marlborough are athletics, football, hockey, badminton, squash, swimming, cycling, taekwondo, fencing, equestrian, tennis and shooting. There are also other halls for basketball, netball, judo, volleyball and table tennis.

Malaysia are hoping to set up a training base in London for their athletes. Earlier, the plan was to set up of a High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) at the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre in Brickendonbury, London.

But Malaysia’s application for the up-grading of the existing facilities there was rejected the the East Herts Council Development Control Committee.

Malaysia plan to file a new application to the committee but that has not been finalised yet.

Marlborough College Summer School director Jon Copp, who is also with the team here, said that they were not aware of the Brickendonbury plans until they came here.

“But that is not a problem for us. We have also gone to Singapore and Hong Kong and will be looking at a few other countries to “sell’ our centre for their needs.

“We are not talking just about the facilities but also the accommodations, food, security and transport available to the teams. We also have an excellent gym and also the medical facilities near the centre.

“Presently the school caters to 870 students form the age group of 13 to 18. But for three weeks in summer we also have a large group for our summer programmes. The college has been very successful in organising the summer camps for over 50 years and caters to over 3,500 people during the camps.

“The facilities we have will allow teams to get acclimatised and also provide some viable options for their training needs in an environmentally friendly atmosphere,” said Copp.

Copp, who played hockey for Britain in two Olympics, said the English national hockey team had trained at the centre in the past.

The group will visit the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and also will try and approach the National Sports Council (NSC) and the National Sports Institute (NSI) to seek their views on their offer.

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