With just 429 days to go until the curtain is drawn on the London 2012 Olympic Games, a group of 32 Team Leaders from Olympic sports today concluded a three-day workshop with members of the Team GB Delegation Leadership in Greenwich, London.
The meeting was the third of six being delivered by the British Olympic Association (BOA) before London 2012 and was focussed on three key objectives: venue familiarisation; Olympic orientation and Team GB preparations.
On Tuesday, the group inspected the Olympic Park and Olympic Village facilities which will accommodate Team GB athletes next summer, and earlier today Team Leaders visited their respective Olympic competition and training venues to see first-hand the progress being made towards Games readiness and to fine tune logistical and operational plans in consultation with the LOCOG competition and venue managers.
On the first day of the workshop Monday, Team Leaders from sports in which Team GB has not competed in recent Olympic Games, such as handball, water polo and volleyball, participated in an Olympic orientation session designed to help prepare them for the unique demands and pressures of an Olympic Games environment.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt delivered a comprehensive progress report on the detailed operational and performance plans for Team GB’s participation in the Games and members of Team GB’s Delegation Leadership shared latest information with Team Leaders in areas including accreditation, preparation camps, Olympic Village, Games transportation, media and the high performance services that will be provided in the Games environment.
The Team Leaders also visited the planned site of the ‘Team GB House’, which will be a focal point for Team GB activity during the Games.
The next Team Leader workshop is scheduled to take place in October, following a busy summer of London 2012 Test Events and World level competition for British athletes aiming for selection to Team GB.
Andy Hunt, Team GB Chef de Mission and BOA CEO said:
“This Team Leader workshop represents another important milestone on the journey towards London 2012. There is a strong sense of unity, shared ownership and determination among the Team Leaders as we continue to implement the detailed planning to give Team GB the best opportunity for maximum success next summer.
“Visiting the Olympic Park as a group and seeing the tremendous progress LOCOG continues to make across the many venues was very encouraging, and stepping inside the Olympic Village accommodation for the first time allowed the visualisation of what will be our home for three weeks of intense competition. There was a great sense of excitement and it certainly sent a shiver of anticipation down my spine.
“London 2012 is a once in a lifetime opportunity for British sport and it is fantastic that we have the opportunity to be represented across all 26 sports on the Olympic Programme. It was great to have everyone together in one room exchanging ideas and sharing information, for the ultimate benefit of the single, unified One Team GB.”
Margaret Hicks, Judo Team Leader said:
“The Team Leader workshop has been very useful in terms of orientation around the Olympic Village, Olympic Park and also Excel, the venue for the 2012 Olympic judo competition.
“The BOA team have been very supportive in working with Team Leaders to individualise the programme and we have had a valuable insight into performance operations around Games planning. The feeling and morale in Team GB is very positive and bodes well for 2012.”
David Faulkner, Hockey Team Leader said:
“I am very happy with the progress being made with regard to the Team GB preparations. The many challenges associated with performing at a home Games are being addressed and as ever the Team Leaders are supportive of each other and working well as a team, which we know will be a key factor for success at Game time.”
“It was great to visit the site of our venue, which is the last to be built in the Olympic Park. To see it visually take shape in the context of the Park and its close proximity to the Olympic Village was fascinating. After viewing the Olympic Village I am very encouraged that it will be a positive experience for our athletes.
Biz Price, Synchronized Swimming Team Leader said:
“It was really great to visit the Aquatics Centre and the Olympic Village as part of the Team Leaders workshop. I now have a real visual picture in my mind that I can describe and relay to the athletes.
“The opportunity to meet the venue and competition managers was very helpful and receiving the detailed information at this stage will allow me to make the small changes that can have a big impact for the synchronised swimming athletes at Games time. I’m really looking forward to being part of Team GB.”
Andy Allford, Badminton Team Leader said:
"The past three days have been extremely useful in developing the Olympic planning for Badminton further. Day One was for 'new Team Leaders' in which we heard from many of the experienced members of the BOA staff on what a typical day would be like during the Games and to plan as much as possible but be prepared for the unexpected.
“Day Two consisted of us touring the Olympic Park which is developing at rapid pace and there was also an update on the BOA's planning for the Games which is leaving no stone unturned. The final day has finished with a meeting with Badminton's Competition Manager which has given us clarity on some outstanding issues that will help determine our plans for the Games. All in all this was a thoroughly productive workshop."