Montpellier, Sète, and Millau launched a campaign to be Paris 2024 preparation centres at the Urban Sports Summit in Montpellier ©Hurricane - FISE

South Africa is set to become the first country to commit to using Montpellier, Sète and Millau for pre-Paris 2024 preparations.

Mayors of the city and two towns - which together obtained the "Terres de Jeux" label previously - announced the deal, which remains verbal at the moment, at the Urban Sports Summit in Montpellier.

At least 150 athletes in 10 different disciplines are expected to travel to Montpellier, Sète and Millau in the lead-up to the Games.

The Occitanie trio claim to have the facilities to train athletes in 23 Olympic and seven Paralympic sports.

They also boast 30 hotels, a state-of-the-art research, expertise and sporting performance centre, and 300 hours of sunshine each year, making the area ideal for Summer Olympic Games preparations.

Montpellier, Sète and Millau unveiled a logo today to celebrate the status and their partnership, featuring inspiration from each locale.

The blue waves represented port town Sète, green lines for the environment and outdoor beauty of Millau, and the red the urban landscape of Montpellier.

"We have to showcase everything that exists in our territories, we are attractive with all three bases that we have to offer," said Michaël Delafosse, Mayor of Montpellier, at the Urban Sports Summit in the city, which aims to connect key decision-makers and develop urban sports.

Montpellier Mayor Michaël Delafosse predicts that being a Paris 2024 preparation centre will inspire young people to take up sport ©Hurricane - FISE
Montpellier Mayor Michaël Delafosse predicts that being a Paris 2024 preparation centre will inspire young people to take up sport ©Hurricane - FISE

"Quality of life is one of our main assets here and that really counts towards our bid.

"We have hotels and major events so the infrastructure is there and the whole community is ready to welcome delegations.

"There are cities where nothing is happening, but here there is so much taking place in our three territories.

"Welcoming athletes is possible as we have a strong foundation of hotels and catering facilities.

"It is important for the youth because if they can look forward to hosting a champion or future champion in their city it will be really inspiring.

"After the hardships of COVID it will have a big impact."

South Africa are hoped to be the first of many teams to make Montpellier, Sète and Millau their base for the days leading up to Paris 2024.

Olympic handball champion Valentin Porte is excited for the development as he feels it could make a huge difference to the French squad if they can train in Montpellier.

"Having this could be the difference that helps us win gold," Porte, a member of France's Tokyo 2020 gold medal-winning side, said.

"We have everything we need in Montpellier, the weather is perfect and the infrastructure is world class so we are delighted to be able to train here prior to the Games."

It is hoped that Montpellier, Sète, and Millau's status as Games preparation centres can promote youth sport and well-being throughout the territories.