A MIRFIELD woman is helping London in its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.
Joanna Cowper, 31, is Olympic project manager for Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency.
Surprising as it may seem, London needs the backing of Yorkshire and the rest of the regions, for its Olympic bid to be successful.
This will ensure that all the athletes will be able to train in sporting facilities around the country before the games.
Huddersfield's Galpharm Stadium will be one of the grounds under the spotlight, along with venues such as Elland Road football ground in Leeds, South Leeds Stadium and the Ponds Forge swimming pool in Sheffield.
But while the training bases are important, they are not the only issue at stake.
Joanna said: "It does not matter if the facilities are not world class - although some of these in Yorkshire are fantastic - as long as the right attitude is there from the local population.
"Yorkshire and Humberside has a very warm welcoming attitude to others.
"It is people that make up the region."
Interesting cultural attractions are also important to the international visitors.
"We are not just looking at the training side but also at relaxation: things like entertainment and coastal attractions."
The campaign cannot swing into full strength until the host city is chosen next July.
"But we are taking stock of international links such as universities and trade and seeing where our strengths are."
Realistically it is felt that London is the only British city capable of seeing off competition from rival Olympic hosts, Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris.
Joanne has been working on the project since July.
"It is absolutely fantastic," she added. "I really enjoy it. It was a great time to start on the project. There was a lot of energy about the time of the Olympics this year and it was wonderful that we had so many Yorkshire medallists."
Joanne, originally from Knaresborough, lives just off Huddersfield Road in Eastthorpe, where she is renovating a property.
She was lured to Mirfield by boyfriend Steve Moor, 32, who she marries next weekend in Harewood.
"Mirfield is a great place to live because everything is there for you," she commented.
"It is so compact and has access to the motorway, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Leeds, and the major cities of Yorkshire."
* They will attract 10,500 athletes, 6,000 coaches and officials, 2,000 judges and referees, 5,000 Olympic family members and 20,000 media representatives
* More than 9m tickets will be sold, equalling 500,000 spectators per day
* Yorkshire and Humberside should benefit from: Business opportunities in construction, manufacturing and accommodation; elite pre-Olympic Games sports events; pre- Olympic Games athlete preparation camps; better sporting facilities and job creation.