Officials Hit the Road to Keep Gymnastics on Track

By on 19/04/2010 in News

Despite the ongoing global travel chaos being caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption, this week's European Gymnastic Championships in Birmingham are set to go-ahead after organisers swung into action to help teams from across the continent travel to the city.

Officials from the Local Organising Committee (LOC) - made up of Birmingham City Council, British Gymnastics and the UEG (European Union of Gymnastics), have been working all weekend to help competing teams solve the logistical nightmare of how to get to the championships on time by road, rail and sea.

Having delayed the start of the event by 24 hours to Thursday 22nd April, and reworked the schedule accordingly, LOC members have now made arrangements to collect participants from EU countries from UK ports at Dover and bring them to Birmingham.

 Working closely with the Border Agency, Foreign Office and ferry companies, Non-EU teams are being asked to get to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris or Calais, where they are being met by LOC representatives and brought to Birmingham by coach.

 To date, 23 of the 40 countries originally registered for the event have arrived in Birmingham ahead of on-site training beginning on Tuesday.

Some of the journeys have been epic, such as the team from Finland who have driven all the way from Helsinki to Calais a trip of over 1000 miles. Others have shown the true meaning of a sporting nature with the Austrian team picking up the Slovakian team on their way and Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia travelling together.

British Gymnastics, who have a GB Team currently in Germany, are travelling back to Britain, with a few additional passengers in tow, including the President of the UEG Mr. Guelzec, championship judges and media.

Paul Garber, President of British Gymnastics said 'It is fantastic to see the gymnastic federations from across Europe working with the LOC and each other to ensure that the Championships go ahead as planned'

Jim Kelly, Head of International & Local Events, Birmingham City Council, 'Where other events, such as the World Diving Competition in Sheffield have been cancelled or affected by the adverse weather, the UEG, British Gymnastics & Birmingham City Council have come together to ensure this event will go ahead.”

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