Warm welcome for the Australians at Centre of Excellence

The Australian judo team trained in Walsall last week to prepare for the Commonwealth Games.

Members of the team trained at the British Association Centre of Excellence, based at the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall campus.

It was a welcome return for the team, who trained for two weeks at the centre ahead of the London Olympics in 2012.

A total of 22 judo people travelled from Australia.

Fourteen players, along with coaches and support staff, stayed at the university’s student accommodation until they departed for Glasgow last Friday (July 18).

Dave Elmore, the uni’s judo development officer, said the players’ visiting is testament to Walsall campuses exemplary facilities.

He said: “It has been great to have the Australian judo team here in Walsall again for such a prestigious event as the Commonwealth Games.

“Their return is a testament to the facilities, staff and athletes that are based at the centre.

“The team say they feel they have everything they need to make them feel at home despite being thousands of miles away from Australia.

“A happy athlete is usually a better-performing athlete, but let’s hope the friendly welcome doesn’t extend to when they come up against English judo players when the competition begins.”

The team were able to use the BJA Centre of Excellence as a holding camp when visiting Europe for International competitions. They felt it has world-class facilities and training partners that prepare them well for upcoming events.

The University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall Sports Centre is one of the few British Judo Centres of Excellence in the UK, as recognised by the British Judo Association and aims to nurture and develop talent.