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Push for more national sports squads to train in Surrey
4:59pm Monday 14th January 2013 in News
Surrey is aiming to follow up its starring role in last year's Olympics with a push to sell itself as a training base to more national sports teams.
Surrey County Council has said it wants to see international sports squads using the county as a base for three major sporting events, including next year's Commonwealth Games.
Last year, the county played host to 35 teams preparing for the London Olympics, thanks to world class training facilities such as the Surrey Sports Park and Guildford Spectrum.
Surrey welcomed more teams than anywhere else in the South-east.
The county's roads were also the setting for the Olympic cycling road races and time trials, as well as the last stage of the Tour of Britain cycling event.
The Olympic men’s and women’s cycling road races and time trials on Surrey’s roads, together with the training camps, generated an estimated £44 million boost for the local economy.
In addition, more than £740 million worth of Games-related contracts were won by local businesses.
Following the Olympics, Surrey County Council teamed up with London mayor Boris Johnson to announce a new annual sporting fixture, a two-day festival of cycling in August, that will include the London to Surrey 100 road ride.
The council has also said it will be looking into whether it can secure holding a stage of the world's premier cycling event, the Tour de France, in future.
Next year will see Glasgow stage the Commonwealth Games, and in 2017, London will hold the World Athletics Championships and the Paralympic World Championships.
The county council has said it will be aiming to build on the success of its record with the Olympics by getting countries to set up training camps as they prepare for the trio of major competitions.
Surrey County Council cabinet member for community services, Helyn Clack, said: “We successfully sold Surrey as a great place for Olympic teams to base themselves and we want to build on the sporting pedigree we have established.”
Coun Clack said: “With Commonwealth and world events being staged over the next few years, we’ll be working hard to promote the county’s excellent facilities to teams looking for a base in the build-up to, and during, these major competitions.”