by Gerard Walsh
EIGHTY-seven athletes and officials from Cameroon will be in Warwick for a training camp in the lead up to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.
Today, Southern Downs Regional Council manager economic development and tourism Scott Templeman showed Cameroon representatives around training facilities and accommodation in the Warwick area.
Cameroon is a country of 22 million people in west central Africa and borders Nigeria to the west.
Chef de mission Victor Agbor Nso and team manager Alphonse Benoit Essama met with Southern Downs Regional Council representatives before visiting facilities today.
Mr Agbor Nso said they looked at training at Blacktown in Sydney, Brisbane and in the Southern Downs Regional Council area.
"We had correspondence from Southern Downs and the council would reply to our correspondence straight away,” he said.
"The temperature in Warwick is near the temperature in Cameroon and it is not as busy in Warwick.”
The Cameroon contingent of 61 athletes and 26 officials will be in Warwick for between 10 and 14 days and then go straight to the Commonwealth Games Village in the run up to the April 4 opening ceremony at the Gold Coast.
They will be in Warwick with men's and women's boxing, badminton, wrestling, weightlifting and athletics teams as well as a men's basketball team.
Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Cr Tracy Dobie said the news that Cameroon was planning a pre-games camp in Warwick was great news for the region.
"I would encourage the people on the Southern Downs to embrace the Cameroon team when they are in the area and adopt them as our second sons and daughters when they compete during the Commonwealth Games,” she said.
"We hope to use this visit as a chance to encourage business relationships with Cameroon.”
Cr Dobie said the council was keen to further push use of more facilities in Warwick and Stanthorpe for pre-games training, including the hockey facilities in Warwick.
It is expected the athletics team would be based in Warwick but travel by bus to Toowoomba to use a tartan track at The Glennie School.
Cameroon is a medal chance in a number of sports, including weightlifting, wrestling and boxing.
Team officials are hopeful of medals in women's shot put and the four by 100 metres women's relay team.
Team accommodation will be at the Warwick Christian College.