Calling all French speakers

Democratic Republic Of The Congo flagThe search is on for a team of French-speaking volunteers to support Olympic athletes when they train in Medway ahead of the London 2012 Games.

Medway Council wants to hear from any native or advanced-level French speakers who could spend time assisting the French-speaking teams during their time in Medway.

The appeal comes as a second French-speaking African team signs up to train in Medway ahead of this summer’s Games in London.

Athletes from the Republic of Congo will join their continental counterparts from Senegal for pre-Games training camps at Medway Park in July.

The Congo took five athletes to the Beijing Games in 2008 and hope to bring a delegation of up to 25 athletes and coaches to Medway, competing in sports including athletics, swimming and table tennis.

The Senegal team hopes to qualify athletes for sports including athletics, judo and taekwondo. Their men’s football team is also still in with a chance of qualification. If successful in the final African/Asian play-off match in Coventry in April, their squad hopes to use Gillingham Football Club’s facilities for training.

Jumpers Rebound Centre has also signed agreements with the Canadian and Portuguese trampolining squads to prepare their gymnasts for the Games at the state-of-the-art facility in Gillingham.

Congo swimmer Emile Rony BakaleCllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s community services portfolio holder, said: "We are delighted that these teams are choosing Medway as their training base. The calibre of our facilities and our proximity to the Olympic Park make it the ideal training base."

He added: "I'm sure the whole community will play their part in welcoming and supporting the teams this summer."

If you are interested in registering as a French-speaking volunteer to support Medway in hosting the Olympic athletes, please email your name, phone number and a short message about yourself to 2012@medway.gov.uk.

Medway Park, Gillingham FC’s Priestfield Stadium and Jumpers Rebound Centre are among five Medway venues that have both been approved by London 2012 as official pre-Games training venues, with Medway Park catering for 13 Olympic and eight Paralympic sports on one site.

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