Teboho Molapo MASERU — The Lesotho National Olympic team will camp in Wales ahead of this year’s London Olympics in September.
The Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation last week said they had chosen Wrexham because of its strong links with several schools and institutions in Lesotho.
“It was only natural then that we should choose Wales as our base.
“Wales also has some excellent sports facilities to help us in our preparations for the 2012 Olympics in London,” the ministry said.
The ministry added that because many Basotho had visited and studied in Wales “our experience tells us that we will be guaranteed a very warm welcome and we’re very much looking forward to this opportunity”.
A number of institutions including The Maelor School and Penley have over the years established partnership programmes with schools in Lesotho.
St Saviour’s School in Leribe has also benefited from such partnerships.
The official said Wales and Lesotho first established links in 1985.
Since then several schools, health personnel and churches have exchanged programmes and visits.
A Lesotho Consulate was established in Wales in 2001 in recognition of the strong ties between the two countries.
Wrexham councillors said they were honoured that the town has been chosen by Lesotho following a selection process which showcased the town’s sporting infrastructure, facilities, professional approach of staff and the general friendliness of the people of the town and Wales.
Welsh national assembly member, Huw Lewis, said Lesotho’s stay would be a positive thing for the region.
“I’m pleased to hear that the Lesotho National Olympic Committee have chosen to base themselves in Wrexham.
“Pre-Olympic Games training camps provide valuable opportunities to develop sporting, educational and cultural exchanges with countries that come to Wales.
“They also provide opportunities for children and local communities to get involved, which should mean a positive games legacy for Wales,” Lewis said.
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