Lord Sebastian Coe has paid a visit to his old training ground in Twickenham to open a new sports facility.
Lord Coe opened the new £8.25 million sports centre at St Mary’s University College, where he trained during the height of his career.
He praised the quality of the new facilities, which will be used as a pre-games training camp by athletes from three national teams during the run-up to London 2012. The sports centre is also open to members of the public.
Lord Coe, who is chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOGOG) said: “Since visiting St Mary’s in April, when I was walking round what was effectively a building site, the progress that has been made here is astonishing and this really is an extraordinary facility.”
He was joined at the ceremony by 10,000m record-holder Dave Bedford, double Olympic medallist Rebecca Romero MBE, Paralympic medallist David Weir and Olympic gold medallist Tim Brabants.
Professor Richard Fisher, head of the 2012 preparations at St Mary’s, said: “The new centre has been built alongside the existing sports hall, which has also been refurbished, to create state-of-the-art facilities complementing St Mary’s cutting edge sports science and sport medicine support services.
“Sport plays an important role in the student experience at the University College and the facilities are a key part of delivering this.
“During his athletics career, Seb Coe lived in the area and trained at St Mary’s and, now that he is chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, we were delighted that he was able to open the new sports centre.”