Funding wrangles prevent Olympic teams from using York as training base

First published in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

OLYMPIC teams will not be using York as their training base for the London 2012 Games after hitting funding problems.

Agreements signed two years ago were due to see sportsmen and women from the Gambia and Guinea-Bissau use facilities in the city for their preparations ahead of the Olympics, which will begin next week.

But City of York Council has now confirmed the teams have pulled out due to financial issues. They were originally expected to use Huntington Stadium, York College and facilities at the city’s two universities for their training camp.

The facilities the teams were set to use had been given pre-Games accreditation, and at the time of the agreement, Olympics supremo Lord Coe described it as “great news for York”.

Gill Cooper, the council’s head of arts, culture and heritage, said: “Like a number of other local authorities, we’re very disappointed some athletes from overseas are unable to attend pre-Games training because of funding pressures.

“York’s sporting facilities have been designated suitable for international-standard training while offering good value, and we hope the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) can resolve this matter with those countries affected by economic pressures.

“While we were looking forward to this culturally-enriching visit, the preparation work has resulted in strong sporting links being forged between York St John University and the University of The Gambia, and has not caused any loss of revenue for York.”

Several other African countries, including Senegal, Uganda and Mozambique, have abandoned their training plans in the UK at the last minute as they are unable to pay the fees involved.

Momodou Demba, chef du mission at Gambia’s National Olympic Committee, said: “Unfortunately, it [the York training camp] did not work out.

“LOCOG promise to take care of the bill, but the fact we would have to put the money up first then be reimbursed does not go down well. It’s quite expensive.”

LOCOG has said it had always made it clear that it would reimburse Olympic committees “at the end” in order to “eliminate fraud and accusations of impropriety”.

Comments (19)

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9:26am Sat 21 Jul 12

Oaklands Resident says...

So more bad news and - surprise, surprise - the responsible "Cabinet" member (Red Sonja) disappears from sight?
She should justify her failure to deliver on the Olympic Games promises made over the last year.
So more bad news and - surprise, surprise - the responsible "Cabinet" member (Red Sonja) disappears from sight? She should justify her failure to deliver on the Olympic Games promises made over the last year. Oaklands Resident
  • Score: 0

10:17am Sat 21 Jul 12

AnotherPointofView says...

If the agreements were signed two years ago why, with only days to go, has this problem arisen?

I can't believe how the teams can be so close to the games before realising this.
If the agreements were signed two years ago why, with only days to go, has this problem arisen? I can't believe how the teams can be so close to the games before realising this. AnotherPointofView
  • Score: 0

11:35am Sat 21 Jul 12

RingoStarr says...

Sonja Pork-Scratchings and Calamity James strike again!
Sonja Pork-Scratchings and Calamity James strike again! RingoStarr
  • Score: 0

11:48am Sat 21 Jul 12

Torycouncil2015 says...

So even when something is handed over to them signed sealed and delivered they still manage to c**k it up.
So even when something is handed over to them signed sealed and delivered they still manage to c**k it up. Torycouncil2015
  • Score: 0

11:54am Sat 21 Jul 12

bloodaxe says...

Oaklands Resident wrote:
So more bad news and - surprise, surprise - the responsible "Cabinet" member (Red Sonja) disappears from sight?
She should justify her failure to deliver on the Olympic Games promises made over the last year.
"Several other African countries, including Senegal, Uganda and Mozambique, have abandoned their training plans in the UK at the last minute as they are unable to pay the fees involved."

Why do you not read the article ? It isn't anything to do with York, the council, the universities or the man in the moon.
[quote][p][bold]Oaklands Resident[/bold] wrote: So more bad news and - surprise, surprise - the responsible "Cabinet" member (Red Sonja) disappears from sight? She should justify her failure to deliver on the Olympic Games promises made over the last year.[/p][/quote]"Several other African countries, including Senegal, Uganda and Mozambique, have abandoned their training plans in the UK at the last minute as they are unable to pay the fees involved." Why do you not read the article ? It isn't anything to do with York, the council, the universities or the man in the moon. bloodaxe
  • Score: 0

11:56am Sat 21 Jul 12

bloodaxe says...

RingoStarr wrote:
Sonja Pork-Scratchings and Calamity James strike again!
Read the article again. Then once more.
[quote][p][bold]RingoStarr[/bold] wrote: Sonja Pork-Scratchings and Calamity James strike again![/p][/quote]Read the article again. Then once more. bloodaxe
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Sat 21 Jul 12

Woody G Mellor says...

GOOD! I'm sick to my back teeth hearing about the Olympics. Can't wait until its finished. Well overrated.
GOOD! I'm sick to my back teeth hearing about the Olympics. Can't wait until its finished. Well overrated. Woody G Mellor
  • Score: 0

6:08pm Sat 21 Jul 12

RingoStarr says...

bloodaxe wrote:
RingoStarr wrote:
Sonja Pork-Scratchings and Calamity James strike again!
Read the article again. Then once more.
No thanks...Once was enough!
[quote][p][bold]bloodaxe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RingoStarr[/bold] wrote: Sonja Pork-Scratchings and Calamity James strike again![/p][/quote]Read the article again. Then once more.[/p][/quote]No thanks...Once was enough! RingoStarr
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Sat 21 Jul 12

powerwatt says...

I could have told them Guinea-Bissau couldn't afford after their Finance minister moved to France with all the money and the latest coup has no money.

As for Gambia... they aren't a country that like to invest in sport.
I could have told them Guinea-Bissau couldn't afford after their Finance minister moved to France with all the money and the latest coup has no money. As for Gambia... they aren't a country that like to invest in sport. powerwatt
  • Score: 0

4:27am Sun 22 Jul 12

Cllr Sonja Crisp says...

What part of.....

“Like a number of other local authorities, we’re very disappointed some athletes from overseas are unable to attend pre-Games training because of funding pressures.

“York’s sporting facilities have been designated suitable for international-standa
rd training while offering good value, and we hope the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) can resolve this matter with those countries affected by economic pressures.

“While we were looking forward to this culturally-enriching visit, the preparation work has resulted in strong sporting links being forged between York St John University and the University of The Gambia, and has not caused any loss of revenue for York.”

Several other African countries, including Senegal, Uganda and Mozambique, have abandoned their training plans in the UK at the last minute as they are unable to pay the fees involved.

Momodou Demba, chef du mission at Gambia’s National Olympic Committee, said: “Unfortunately, it did not work out.

“LOCOG promise to take care of the bill, but the fact we would have to put the money up first then be reimbursed does not go down well. It’s quite expensive.”

LOCOG has said it had always made it clear that it would reimburse Olympic committees “at the end” in order to “eliminate fraud and accusations of impropriety”.

...do you not understand?

Bloodaxe is absolutely right....this is not the fault of any council anywhere.

For the record, I have never promised I have any control over LOCOG's funding decisions and I certainly cannot be held responsible for countries who either do not qualify, or cannot afford to fund themselves and wait for LOCOG to pay up afterwards.

You are getting very desperate and clutching at straws Cllr Watt and it shows....
What part of..... “Like a number of other local authorities, we’re very disappointed some athletes from overseas are unable to attend pre-Games training because of funding pressures. “York’s sporting facilities have been designated suitable for international-standa rd training while offering good value, and we hope the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) can resolve this matter with those countries affected by economic pressures. “While we were looking forward to this culturally-enriching visit, the preparation work has resulted in strong sporting links being forged between York St John University and the University of The Gambia, and has not caused any loss of revenue for York.” Several other African countries, including Senegal, Uganda and Mozambique, have abandoned their training plans in the UK at the last minute as they are unable to pay the fees involved. Momodou Demba, chef du mission at Gambia’s National Olympic Committee, said: “Unfortunately, it [the York training camp] did not work out. “LOCOG promise to take care of the bill, but the fact we would have to put the money up first then be reimbursed does not go down well. It’s quite expensive.” LOCOG has said it had always made it clear that it would reimburse Olympic committees “at the end” in order to “eliminate fraud and accusations of impropriety”. ...do you not understand? Bloodaxe is absolutely right....this is not the fault of any council anywhere. For the record, I have never promised I have any control over LOCOG's funding decisions and I certainly cannot be held responsible for countries who either do not qualify, or cannot afford to fund themselves and wait for LOCOG to pay up afterwards. You are getting very desperate and clutching at straws Cllr Watt and it shows.... Cllr Sonja Crisp
  • Score: 0

6:36am Sun 22 Jul 12

Torycouncil2015 says...

Since when did things not being under your control ever stop you this administration taking credit for anything. I'm fairly certain Calamity James is flying out now to have his picture taken with Bradley Wiggins.

For the record then Cllr Crisp what have you achieved in your year in office?
Since when did things not being under your control ever stop you this administration taking credit for anything. I'm fairly certain Calamity James is flying out now to have his picture taken with Bradley Wiggins. For the record then Cllr Crisp what have you achieved in your year in office? Torycouncil2015
  • Score: 0

5:45pm Sun 22 Jul 12

Sillybillies says...

How much has the council spent in preparing for the visit that never happened and can it be claimed back from LOCOG?
How much has the council spent in preparing for the visit that never happened and can it be claimed back from LOCOG? Sillybillies
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Sun 22 Jul 12

Woody G Mellor says...

Sillybillies wrote:
How much has the council spent in preparing for the visit that never happened and can it be claimed back from LOCOG?
Bl00dy hell! Have you read nothing? You silly billy.
[quote][p][bold]Sillybillies[/bold] wrote: How much has the council spent in preparing for the visit that never happened and can it be claimed back from LOCOG?[/p][/quote]Bl00dy hell! Have you read nothing? You silly billy. Woody G Mellor
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Sun 22 Jul 12

Sillybillies says...

I repeat, what has it cost.? I don't believe what someone called "the council’s head of arts, culture and heritage" glibly says, sounds like bullshine. I'm asking the sort of question the Press never does whilst it's uncritically printing press releases.
I repeat, what has it cost.? I don't believe what someone called "the council’s head of arts, culture and heritage" glibly says, sounds like bullshine. I'm asking the sort of question the Press never does whilst it's uncritically printing press releases. Sillybillies
  • Score: 0

8:42am Mon 23 Jul 12

Barfield24 says...

you could not make this up!
you could not make this up! Barfield24
  • Score: 0

9:26am Mon 23 Jul 12

meme says...

I cannot imagine these countries having many competitors anyway in York so its a non story!
How many were supposed to come here?
For once its NOT Red Sonias fault. I suspect their manager s have defected with the monies to some other unheard of African country with a corrupt dictator as a leader and are using the money to write letters telling us they have millions in a bank account and if we give them our bank details they will give us 50% of it to transfer it to the UK!
Does anyone actually fall for this?
I cannot imagine these countries having many competitors anyway in York so its a non story! How many were supposed to come here? For once its NOT Red Sonias fault. I suspect their manager s have defected with the monies to some other unheard of African country with a corrupt dictator as a leader and are using the money to write letters telling us they have millions in a bank account and if we give them our bank details they will give us 50% of it to transfer it to the UK! Does anyone actually fall for this? meme
  • Score: 0

8:50pm Mon 23 Jul 12

m dee says...

Oaklands Resident
RingoStarr
Torycouncil2015

Dear oh dear you look rather foolish not understanding the article and having a go at the council ,shows you all made the same mistake or just jump in to political point score as soon as the council are mentioned in any article.
Oaklands Resident RingoStarr Torycouncil2015 Dear oh dear you look rather foolish not understanding the article and having a go at the council ,shows you all made the same mistake or just jump in to political point score as soon as the council are mentioned in any article. m dee
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Tue 24 Jul 12

Torycouncil2015 says...

m dee wrote:
Oaklands Resident
RingoStarr
Torycouncil2015

Dear oh dear you look rather foolish not understanding the article and having a go at the council ,shows you all made the same mistake or just jump in to political point score as soon as the council are mentioned in any article.
where as you believe everything you read in the press? Im sure Calamity james' "bung fund" of £20 million could have been of some assistance
[quote][p][bold]m dee[/bold] wrote: Oaklands Resident RingoStarr Torycouncil2015 Dear oh dear you look rather foolish not understanding the article and having a go at the council ,shows you all made the same mistake or just jump in to political point score as soon as the council are mentioned in any article.[/p][/quote]where as you believe everything you read in the press? Im sure Calamity james' "bung fund" of £20 million could have been of some assistance Torycouncil2015
  • Score: 0

9:55am Thu 26 Jul 12

m dee says...

Not sure what relevance as what I believe everything I read is about are you saying the article is incorrect ? ,and not really interested in the politics side.
Not sure what relevance as what I believe everything I read is about are you saying the article is incorrect ? ,and not really interested in the politics side. m dee
  • Score: 0

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