The GB swimming team has chosen the University of Edinburgh as the venue to host their final preparations for the Olympics this summer.
The team will use the newly refurbished Commonwealth Pool and the university’s Pleasance Gym for strength and conditioning sessions from 18 to 24 July.
Jim Aitken, Director of the Centre for Sport and Exercise, told The Journal: “We are delighted to have secured the Olympic Swim Camp, and the Volleyball Camp too (in June), and this has really captured the imagination of everyone who has an interest in sport.
“These events have created quite a stir, and we are really excited about the benefits they will bring and it’s a real privilege that we’ve been chosen to host them.
“It’s clear GB Swim officials were much impressed by the fantastic new Royal Commonwealth Pool and the sporting facilities and performance sport culture we have at the University.
“We all want the Edinburgh Camp to be the perfect preparation for the swimmers ahead of the London Games, and everyone’s working really hard to achieve that.”
The university has been in discussions to secure the deal for over a year, with its reputation for combining both sporting and academic achievements being an influential factor. The university is already renowned for its sporting legacy, the latest being Sir Chris Hoy’s triple cycling gold in Beijing in 2008.
Mr Aitken added: “The university is rightly respected world-wide for the quality of its teaching and learning, but we are now thrilled that talented students view Edinburgh as a place they can come to combine their higher education and sporting ambitions too.
“Many national sports agencies, such as GB swimming, value our commitment to identifying and developing sporting talent, and we are seen as a willing partner in promoting sporting excellence.
“Our Individual and Team Performance Sport programmes seek to provide a rounded multi-disciplinary package of athlete support around coaching, sports medicine, fitness conditioning, flexible study, cash support and the like, which have helped produce a growing number of international athletes from the university.”
Swimmers who will be taking part in the camp include the university’s Michael Jamieson, who also swims for Bath, and will be competing for the title in the 200m breaststroke.
Mr Jamieson said: “It’s a fantastic place to come and I think that’s shown with the fact that the British team have chosen Edinburgh to host the holding camp for the Olympic games and to entrust it with the final stages of preparation really speaks volumes for it.
“Obviously at the university here you’ve got everything under one roof, the gym, the physio and the sport staff are all on hand and that’s important in selecting a training base.”
Mr Jamieson is excited to be on the team and competing for an Olympic place: “It's great to be following in the footsteps of sporting idols here from Edinburgh and hopefully we can deliver some similar results. Edinburgh is a home away from home for me.”
Chris Jones, Head of Performance Swimming at the University of Edinburgh said: “The University has continued to invest in facilities such as this to train the athletes to train and find that extra cutting edge, as a coach it’s going to be amazing.
“Facilities here are among the best in the world and that’s why GB swimming will keep coming here to train.”