Earlier this month Full Twist announced the fantastic news that two Olympic Chinese Coaches were planning a visit to Salto National Gymnastics Centre in Northern Ireland with the view to using the venue as for their Pre-Olympic training camp next year. Coaches Xiong Jingbin and Jin Weiguo arrived in Ireland yesterday to begin their visit to Salto and hosted a coaching masterclass for the gymnasts in the club.
Xiong Jingbin and Jin Weiguo currently train the Chinese Olympic gymnastics team, but called into the Salto National Gymnastics Centre in Lisburn to provide a coaching master-class for the club’s gymnasts.
China is renowned for excellence in gymnastics, topping the medals table in the sport with an amazing 18 medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Carál Ní Chuilín said: “This is a proud day for the Salto Club and it gives me great pleasure to welcome Xiong Jingbin and Jin Weiguo. The facilities here are world class and I’m sure Mr Jin and Mr Xiong will be impressed.
“China is renowned for excellence in gymnastics, topping the medals table in the sport with an amazing 18 medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
“It is wonderful to welcome two of their most successful coaches to the North and have them work with and inspire our young people which will contribute to our plans to deliver a local legacy from the London2012 Games.
“Mr Jin and Mr Xiong will also have the opportunity to experience a true taste of the North of Ireland and sample what is on offer; to understand our total passion for sport, and not least our warm and genuine welcome.”
Eamonn McCartan, Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland was also in attendance and added: “Sport Northern Ireland is delighted to welcome two of the most successful coaches of the Chinese team to these excellent facilities, and to sample the hospitality Northern Ireland has to offer.
“It is great to see representatives from a team of such high calibre considering Salto as their base for pre-games training. This will act as a great catalyst to encourage and inspire all of our young people to participate in sport, which will be an important legacy from the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
If they select Salto National Gymnastics Centre the Chinese team will train at Salto for up to 14 days before travelling to the Olympic Games in London in July 2012.
During their visit to Northern Ireland they will be meeting with officials from Stormont, Lisburn City Council and Sport NI. Olympic Gold Medallist and Salto club president Dame Mary Peters will be welcoming them to Northern Ireland spearheading Salto’s and Northern Ireland’s bid to host an Olympic Pre Training Camp.