IBF Rubber Stamps First Ever Global Training Centre In Saarbruecken
IBF Vice-President Punch Gunalan and the President of the Saarland regional sports federation, Gerd Meyer, signed the contract for the Saarbruecken centre, which is to be headed up by former IBF/EBU Itinerant Coach Gunther Huber, and is to welcome the first players through its doors in March this year.
The contract signing ceremony was also witnessed by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer – Saarland’s Minister for the Interior, Family, Women and Sport.
IBF’s Training Centre concept was adopted at the Federation’s Extraordinary General Meeting in December 2004, with the aim of providing elite level coaching in world-class facilities for the world’s best young players from developing nations. Up to 20 selected players will be based at one of IBF’s Training Centres for two months at a time, and as well as receiving a customised training and conditioning programme from the Centre’s expert staff coaches, they will have access to specialist sports science and medical support.
Gerd Meyer opened the afternoon's speeches by welcoming Punch Gunalan to Saarbruecken, informing the many local dignitaries and media who had gathered that he was personally “delighted” that IBF had chosen Saarbruecken to be the first IBF Training Centre. He stated that the “unique joint venture between IBF and Saarbruecken would benefit both parties, as we both share the same goal – having our athletes qualify for the next Olympic Games and hopefully winning medals in Beijing 2008.”
“The Training Centre concept is the lifeline of the future IBF,” added Punch Gunalan. “Every country wants to see their own player become a champion. The Training Centres will give all players a greater opportunity to become champions.”
Gunalan also explained that the first phase of players attending the Saarbruecken Training Centre in March would have representation from all five continents.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer responded to this point, confirming that Saarbruecken would prove a very hospitable host for its international visitors. “We are looking forward to receiving guests from all over the world to target their own qualification for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.”
IBF plans to open four additional Training Centres in Sofia (BUL), Kuala Lumpur (MAS), Beijing (CHN) and USA (host city to be determined).
For further information contact Lindsey Bell, Head of Communications, at
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