New facility boosts British skiing

The British Olympic Association has backed plans for a £300m winter-sport complex to help develop athletes for the winter Olympics.

The British Olympic Association has backed plans for a £300m winter-sport complex to help develop athletes for the winter Olympics.

Proposals have been made to construct the SnOasis centre in an abandoned quarry in Suffolk. The complex would be the world's biggest indoor real-snow ski dome, with a piste 100 metres high and 500m long.

There are also plans for facilities for 13 other winter sports, including snowboarding, ice hockey, speed skating, ice and dry climbing walls, bobsleigh, luge and cross-country skiing. The BOA's chief executive, Simon Clegg, said: "I am sure the winter sports community will see it as an opportunity to develop next-generation Olympians in a range of disciplines and at the same time, raise the profile and interest in winter sport."

Meanwhile, golf, rugby union, squash, karate and roller sports are on a shortlist of sports to be assessed for possible inclusion in the 2012 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee is reviewing the merits of all 28 current Olympic sports and disciplines following the Athens Games and will also assess the five new sports on their list.

The IOC this year drew up a list of 33 criteria on which sports would be assessed, ranging from history and development to gender equity and the impact on the environment.

Golf's ruling body the R&A is backing the bid - but there could be opposition from the European and US PGA tours.

"It's good to hear that we have been confirmed." the R&A secretary Peter Dawson said. "But it's true to say that the two tours are less supportive than they were. They have issues over the scheduling of the event which could conflict with tour events."

The IOC said there would be no changes until the 2012 Games at the earliest.

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