London Paralympics 2012
Australia competed at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, United Kingdom from 29 August to 9 September 2012. The London Games were the biggest Games with 19 additional countries competing than in Beijing Paralympic athletes from the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa, India and Australia have been taking advantage of the excellent training facilities at Cardiff Met’s National Indoor Athletics Centre (NIAC) in Cyncoed as they prepare for the start of the Paralympic Games in London next week. Disciplines including discus, shot put, and high jump have been represented as the athletes – many of whom have never visited the UK before – prepare for the biggest sporting event of their lives.
Fully equipped to international standard, NIAC was the first purpose-built indoor athletics facility in the UK and, as well as playing host to some of the best athletes in the world, is utilised fully by students on sports courses, student clubs and the general public. Governing bodies of sport, including Welsh Athletics and the Welsh Netball Association (WNA) also use this facility on a regular basis.
Solomon Islands coach, Faamoana Topule, whose athlete Hellen Glenda Saogaha is training hard for her shot put event said he was extremely impressed by both Cardiff, and particularly the facilities available at NIAC.
“We have nothing like this available at home so for Hellen to be able to train here at NIAC and take advantage of such great training facilities is just perfect.
“It’s our first time in the UK and we’ve had such a lovely welcome in Wales and have even loved the weather! We’re looking forward to doing great things in London.” iji coach Fred Fatiaki added: “Our athletes are very fortunate to be able to come and train in such a great environment. We’ve had such a good experience, we now hope to be able to continue to build relationships with Cardiff Met and would love to come back and train here ahead of the Fiji Paralympics”.
Speaking on behalf of Cardiff Met, Dean of Cardiff School of Sport, Dave Cobner, said: “It’s an absolute honour to provide our services to the visiting paralympic athletes in preparation for the London 2012 games.
“We have fantastic sports facilities at Cardiff Met which clearly meet the training needs of all the teams.
“On behalf of everyone at the School of Sport, I would like to wish all our past and present students – including Nathan Stephens (javelin), Stephen Thomas (sailing) and Aled Sion Davies (shot put) - every success in this year’s Paralympic Games.”