The 14-year-old, who is a pupil at Lipson Community College, is currently ranked at around 30 in the world and is due to compete in the IOC European Youth Olympic Festival in Turkey later this month.
Her national home team has chosen the new facility as its pre-Olympic training camp following detailed discussions with Plymouth City Council and Jon Rudd, national swimming coach and Head Coach at Plymouth Leander. The team plans to visit the city for around 15 days in July 2012.
The news comes just a couple of months after the Canadian diving team announced it too had chosen to prepare for London 2012 at the Centre.
Due to be completed late this year, the Plymouth Life Centre will offer some of the best aquatics facilities in the country – including the only 10-lane, 50-metre competition swimming pool in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.
The Lithuanian team were particularly impressed by the scale of the new facility and the support available for meeting the athletes’ accommodation and travel requirements.
The new Centre will be a base for eight swimmers and four coaches and support staff, who will use their time in the city to become acclimatised to England’s weather, cuisine, culture and surroundings ahead of the Games and find out more about the medical and transport services that will be available.
As well as the swimming pool the team will also use the gym and ‘dryside’ facilities for strength and conditioning training
Plymouth City Council Leader Vivien Pengelly said: “This is the second international team to choose the Plymouth Life Centre for its Olympic training which shows how well-regarded it already is overseas.
“Playing host to these teams will bring the Olympic Games to the people of Plymouth, help to raise the sporting aspirations of the city’s youngsters and hopefully encourage more people to get involved in regular physical activity. It will also bring economic, cultural and educational benefits to the city.
“We look forward to giving the Lithuanian swimmers a very warm Plymouth welcome when they visit next year.”
Jon Rudd, national swimming coach and Head Coach at Plymouth Leander, was instrumental in attracting the Lithuanian team to Plymouth. He said: "To have any swimming nation come and make the most of our new facilities is wonderful but the fact that this is Lithuania, with whom we have forged a particularly strong relationship in recent months, is all the more special.
“Even though she is only 14 years of age, Ruta is a great prospect for Plymouth and Lithuania in London next year and it will allow me to work hand in glove with the Lithuania staff in ensuring her preparations are as close to perfect as we can make them. To be able to keep her alongside such great athlete mentors at Antony James and Emma Wilkins as part of her preparation is a massive bonus."
Date: Friday 15 July
Place: Plymouth Life Centre site, Central Park (Meet at Balfour Beatty site office at 3.45pm)
Event: Photo and interview opportunity to mark announcement that Lithuanian swim team will train for 2012 Olympics at Plymouth Life Centre
More information can be found at www.plymouth.gov.uk/lifecentre.
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