Gordon Brown impressed by 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games venue at Weymouth 4/9/07

Gordon Brown recently visited the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy – the host sailing venue for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As part of his last official engagement before his Summer holiday (which he spent in Dorset and Scotland), Mr Brown was shown around the world class facilities of the Dorset-based Academy by John Derbyshire, RYA Racing Manager and Performance Director and Mark Stubbings, Chief Executive of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the 2012 Organising Committee also took time out of his busy schedule to attend the visit.

Mr Brown commented: “I wanted to see the preparations for the Olympics myself. The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is a fantastic site. There is huge enthusiasm here and I want to congratulate everyone for what they have been doing.”

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy was formed in 1999 as a not for profit company. The Academy promotes the sport of sailing to all levels of competence and ability and aims to support and work closely with the local community, ensuring sailing is accessible and affordable for all. The Academy primarily offers its superb venue for events and training, but also hosts a successful sailing school and a members’ club catering for sailors of all abilities, from complete beginners to Olympic medallists. The Academy has also contributed to substantial local economic regeneration, estimated to be in the region of £10 million so far.

Mark Stubbings, Chief Executive of The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy added; “We were delighted to welcome Mr Brown to the Academy and show him around our fantastic facilities. The fact that we had 385 young sailors taking part in the Optimist National Championships, together with over 600 associated siblings and parents was a perfect example of how the Academy is able to run large events successfully. Mr Brown recognised the steps that have been taken to turn the site into a World Class venue and Olympic facility and was able to see for himself the work that we are doing with British Sailing in the local community and beyond.”