Team Lesotho will make welcome return to Wrexham
February 25 2014
Glyndŵr University will again play host to some of Africa’s top athletes ahead of this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Team Lesotho will live and train in Wrexham before the competition, held in Glasgow this summer.
Up to 30 sportsmen and women will descend on North Wales, representing athletics, boxing, mountain biking, swimming, squash and table tennis.
Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Scott, said he was “thrilled” to welcome back Team Lesotho after their successful stay in the town two years ago, when they were based at the University in preparation for the London Olympics.
On that occasion, the athletes – three marathon runners, a 200m sprinter and a swimmer – stayed at Wrexham Village and trained on campus, at Queensway, Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse and Waterworld.
“We’re really happy that Team Lesotho has chosen to return to Wrexham to train for the Games, everyone is thrilled to have them back,” said Prof Scott.
“When they were here for the 2012 Olympics they became part of the Glyndŵr community and part of the fabric of life here at the University. Their enthusiasm and energy rubbed off on everyone and we consider them our friends.”
He added: “This part of Wales in particular has a very special relationship with Lesotho and the team’s stay here strengthened that.
“I wish them good luck in their training and at the Commonwealth Games, where I’m sure they’ll be very successful.”
Welcoming the news, First Minister Carwyn Jones said the “excellent facilities” on offer prove that Wales belongs on the world stage.
“I’m delighted Team Lesotho will return to Wales for training,” he said.
“The recruitment of teams for pre-Game camp locations across Wales prior to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games showcased the excellent facilities we have on offer here and put us in the best possible position for consideration for future sporting events.”
Mr Jones added: “Wales’ relationship with Lesotho continues to go from strength to strength. We have formed strong links through our Wales for Africa programme and in 2012 committed to help the country develop its own climate change strategy, which not only makes a difference to the lives of those in Lesotho but helps our experts study the impact of climate change.”
Last summer, Glyndŵr University and the Government of Lesotho signed a unique partnership that transcended sport.
The warm welcome and support Team Lesotho received while living and training in Wrexham led to a visit from the country’s Minister of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation, Chief Thesele Maseribane, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Glyndŵr’s Pro Vice Chancellor for Operations, Professor Allan Howells.
The five-year agreement will see Glyndŵr University and the University of Lesotho work together and share best practice in different fields, including climate change, sport and equality.
There will also be an opportunity for Glyndŵr students to train at the High Altitude Training Centre at Mohale.