The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today signed training venue contracts with three sports facilities in Japan, securing Team GB’s multi-sport preparation camp for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Keio University, Todoroki Stadium and Yokohama International Pool will provide Team GB’s athletes with optimal pre-Games training in world-class facilities ahead of the Games, which are set to run from 24 July to 9 August 2020.
The three sites, all based in the Greater Tokyo area in the cities of Kawasaki and Yokohama, will make up the BOA’s biggest ever pre-Games preparation camp and be able to accommodate up to 90% of Team GB’s selected athletes for the Games.
The camp will allow athletes the opportunity to acclimatise and complete their final preparations for Tokyo 2020 just a short journey from the heart of Tokyo in dedicated International Federation standard venues.
The BOA has operated similar preparation camps ahead of Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016, with the latter hosting 380 athletes and officials from 14 sports in Belo Horizonte while 294 Team GB members based themselves in Macau in 2008.
BOA Chief Executive Bill Sweeney, who was joined by Chairman Sir Hugh Robertson in Tokyo for the contract signing, said
: “With three and a half years to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, it’s fantastic to already have agreed our first preparation camp facilities and we thank Keio University, Kawasaki City and the City of Yokohama for their support of Team GB.
“Securing world-class training venues for our athletes plays a crucial role in gaining those final performance advantages in the run up to a Games and being so close to the Olympic Village and Tokyo itself is a great boost for the team who will fly out in 2020.
“From our experience in Brazil, we know the value in providing a world leading preparation camp with 21 medals yielded from athletes who travelled through Belo Horizonte last year as the camp played its part in Team GB’s history-making success. Still a number of years out from the Games, it’s terrific to see Team GB leading the way once again in being the most prepared delegation at an Olympic Games.
“We could not have found a better group of partners to support Team GB, build lasting relationships, and develop exchange programmes to engage their local communities and promote Tokyo 2020."
Sir Hugh Robertson, Chairman of the BOA said
: “Engaging on the ground in Tokyo so early on in the cycle is a vital step in ensuring we have the best possible chance to continue our Olympic success in 2020. Having these facilities as dedicated venues for Team GB ahead of the Games is great news for our athletes and further evidence that the British Olympic Association is a world leader in preparing a multi-sport team for an Olympic Games.
“The support we’ve had so far from Keio University, and the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki has been excellent and this will no doubt only grow as we get closer to the Games. The Team GB athletes selected for Tokyo in three years’ time will not only be able to expect the finest preparation camp available but also a warm welcome to Japan.”
Mayor of Kawasaki Norihiko Fukuda said
: “Both the citizens of Kawasaki City and I are greatly honoured that the hosting of Team GB’s Tokyo 2020 pre-Games training camp at our Todoroki Athletics Stadium has now been officially formalised. I have had the opportunity to meet with the BOA on multiple occasions in the months leading up to now and, each time we have met, I have always been deeply impressed by their passion for the Olympic Movement, as well as by their faith in the tremendous power of sport. These qualities come, I believe, from years of hard work in the field, as well as from the unique experience offered by the 2012 London Games.
“I am convinced that the citizens of Kawasaki City will be truly inspired through their exchange with Team GB in the lead up to 2020, and I believe this inspiration will become an invaluable asset for our city in the years to follow.”
Prof. Atsushi Seike, President of Keio University, said:
“We at Keio University are truly honoured and delighted to sign this contract with the BOA regarding the lease of our facilities, which are located predominantly at Hiyoshi Campus, for Team GB’s preparation camp, and at the various opportunities for cooperation and exchange the contract affords. Over the years, Keio University has actively promoted educational, research, and other forms of exchange with the UK. Through this collaboration with the BOA, we hope that Keio’s relationship with the UK will further deepen and continue to develop.
“Interacting with Team GB and support staff will be a great inspiration for Keio students and our athletes. I have no doubt this will also provide Team GB and support staff with the opportunity to deepen their friendship with and their understanding of Japanese society through our students, faculty, and staff, and the local community.”
Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of the City of Yokohama said:
"It is our great honour to conclude this agreement with the British Olympic Association. Football, baseball and softball games will be played in Yokohama during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The final of the Rugby World Cup 2019 is scheduled here in the preceding year. Those two years – ’19 and ’20 – will be thrilling ones for Yokohama, experiences we have never had. In February 2016, Yokohama concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with BOA and others, and was registered as a host-town for the UK. This has encouraged and inspired us."