Town's Olympic bid
SPORTSMEN from Africa could be staying in Portishead for the 2012 Olympics - if moves to host the Zambian team in the town get the green light
SPORTSMEN from Africa could be staying in Portishead for the 2012 Olympics - if moves to host the Zambian team in the town get the green light.Bishop Roger Sainsbury, who lives in the town, has written to the minister of sport for Zambia asking if Portishead can play host to their Olympic team when the games kick off. The town currently has strong links with Zambia as a result of the work done by the local churches to improve living conditions out there.The Rt Rev Sainsbury, who is also chairman of the Portishead Youth Centre redevelopment committee, is hoping the team could be based at the Harbour Road centre.The Rt Rev Sainsbury said: "We are keen to host the Zambian team and I have written to the Zambian authorities."We have not received an official response, but we are hopeful and our MP Liam Fox said he would support us in our bid."The links with Zambia were first set up by the Rev Alan Taylor who visited the country to set up email links to England.While out there he met Jones Mutemwakwenda, the Archdeadon of Lusaka, who came to stay in Portishead and is now studying in this country.As a result a charity - Friends of Zambian Orphans (FOZO) - was set up which over the years has sent thousands of pounds to help set up an orphanage and put in water bore holes in the area. The Rt Rev Sainsbury said he hoped by hosting the team it would allow the youth centre to tap into Lottery funding being generated for the Olympics.The youth club is currently raising money to fund a massive redevelopment and refurbishment of the youth centre, including a new sports hall.The new hall would be stage three of the proposals and is expected to cost around £1million to build.The Rt Rev Sainsbury added: "The team could use the youth centre as their training base and take advantage of the sports facilities."By hosting an Olympic team it could allow us to tap into any Lottery funding which is available."The Diocese of Bath and Wells also has links to Zambia and is partnered with the Diocese of Lusaka.