altJULY 11 - NEWHAM'S Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, has welcomed a group of Indian athletes who are using sports facilities in the Olympic Host Borough as part of their training for the Beijing Games next month.


The 16 athletes are using Newham Sports Academy, set up by the 1984 Olympic javelin champion Tessa Sanderson, as their training base while they travel around the United Kingdom and Europe, attempting to achieve the standards needed to qualify for this summer's Olympic Games.


The group met with Sir Robin, executive member for community intelligence, Councillor Unmesh Desai and executive member for community forums, Councillor Richard Crawford at a special reception at the Old Town Hall, Stratford.


Sir Robin said: "This visit will give Newham the chance to practise playing host to Olympic athletes in 2012.


"The Borough has fantastic sports facilities and I'm very pleased that the Indian national team are making good use of them.


"I wish the athletes the best of luck at the Beijing Games and hope to see them competing in Newham in 2012."


Delegates from the University of East London also attended the reception as the group is staying at the university's Docklands campus for the duration of their stay.


Following the reception the athletes enjoyed a guided tour of the Olympic Park which gave them an insight into the facilities where they may be competing in four years.