By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With less than two months to go to the start of the first-ever Olympic Games in South America, The British School in Rio de Janeiro recently announced that it has joined forces with the British Olympic Association (BOA). The partnership will allow the four hundred-strong team of elite Team Great Britain athletes to use the school’s world-class facilities in the final run-up to the highly anticipated Games.
With three campuses, in Botafogo, Urca, and Barra, The British School (TBS) in Rio de Janeiro has, since 1924, been considered one of Brazil’s most distinguished private education institutions. The school offers a British-style education to over two thousand students from sixty different nationalities who will graduate with both Brazilian and international qualifications, culminating with the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.
Of course, determination and preparation are fundamental to the success of TBS students, and the same can be said for Team Great Britain athletes. Thanks to the school’s recently announced partnership with the BOA, the best British athletes in the world will be able to train at TBS’s Barra campus, helping them to perform at their very best at the 2016 Games.
Numerous BOA officials and members of the school’s Board of Governors were on hand for the official announcement recently at the school’s Barra campus. “TBS is proud to be involved with the Olympic event through supporting Team GB in its effort to win as many medals as possible in the various competitions held across the city,” said an excited John Nixon, Director of The British School.
The top-of-the-line training facilities at TBS Barra campus include a 25-meter swimming pool, a 3G AstroTurf field and a multi-use sports hall. One of the other benefits to the athletes is the Barra campus location, conveniently located only eight kilometers from Olympic Park, where many of the competitions will be held, and the Olympic Village, where many athletes will call home and the largest athletes’ village in Olympic history.
“Our area offers many advantages to the delegation,” Director Nixon said to O Globo newspaper, “The proximity to the Olympic Park is an asset.”
Team GB’s Chef de Mission, Mark England added, “Being able to offer high quality dedicated training facilities close to Olympic sites is a fantastic performance gain for Team GB and our athletes.”
Yet, perhaps, the most important aspect of the partnership will be the proximity of the athletes to the school’s students. “It is an inspiration for the children,” Nixon shared, “The rowers brought in their medals and told stories, and students conducted an experiment comparing their lung capacity with theirs.” Nixon added, “It was super fun and a great learning experience.”
In addition to training facilities, the school will also provide key medical, physio and operational areas, as well as housing for media, friends and family of Team GB.
Of the rumor that TBS may even host a royal guest or two, Nixon would neither confirm nor deny. “We may have VIP people here,” Nixon told the press, “but we do not know who.”
Over ten thousand athletes from across the globe are making their final preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games beginning with the opening ceremony at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium on August 5th.
* This is a sponsored article for The British School, Rio de Janeiro.