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African Paralympians training at school
8:00am Thursday 30th August 2012 in Local news
TWO African athletes have been churning out laps in Brentwood as they prepared for the Paralympic Games.
Brentwood School’s athletics track has been graced by the two paralympians from the small West African country of Burkina Faso.
The Paralympic Games starts today and the five-man Burkina Faso team stay in Brentwood for the best part of a month before moving to the Athletes Village.
Two athletes – who will be competing in cycling events – have become a regular sight racing around the school track and they are being supported by two training staff and a physiotherapist.
African champion Nikiema Kadidia will be competing in the women’s H4 road race over 48km and the H4 time trial over 16km. Her compatriot Gasbeogo Lassane has been doing 160-lap circuits of the school’s 400m track as he trains for the men’s 64km H4 road race and the H4 time trial.
Competitors in the H1–H4 category are athletes with an impairment that affects their legs and they compete using a hand cycle.
Cycling is the third largest sport in the paralympic programme and the cycling events will take place at Brands Hatch, in Kent, from September 5 to 8.
Trainer Ouedraogo Florentine said: “Brentwood is a beautiful town and the people are particularly kind and welcoming.”
Ian Davies, headmaster at the school, in Ingrave Road, said: “The school has a proud sporting tradition and the use of our facilities by such dedicated and inspiring athletes will provide encouragement to both our pupils and the whole community.”
The school was one of a handful of official training venues for London 2012 and facilities were used by modern pentathletes in the run-up to the Games.