A Bangladeshi official toured Harrow's sports and cultural facilities to decide if the country will base its athletes here in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

Colonel Wali Ullah, head of the Bangladeshi Olympic Association (BOA), said after spending five days in the borough: "Harrow is a beautiful part of England and I am very impressed by the wide range of sports facilities on offer - everything from table tennis to swimming!

"The people are very friendly and I am really enjoying the local hospitality and food.
 
"We will make an announcement next year as to whether our team will start their Olympic journey in Harrow."

Col Ullah visited Harrow Leisure Centre, in Christchurch Avenue, Wealdstone; Harrow School in High Street, Harrow on the Hill; Roger Bannister Sports Centre in Uxbridge Road, Harrow Weald, and Aspire National Training Centre in Wood Lane, Stanmore.

He also dropped by Dharma Bhatki Manor in Wood Lane, Stanmore, and the home of Gilbert and Sullivan, Grim's Dyke Hotel in Old Redding, Harrow Weald, to sample the local culture.
 
A special community lunch was held in Col Ullah's honour yesterday (Tuesday) at Harrow Arts Centre in Uxbridge Road, Harrow Weald, with entertainment provided by local children from Cannon Lane Middle School and Grimsdyke First and Middle School, and Harrow Music Service laid on a sitar performance.

Councillor Chris Mote (Conservative), portfolio holder for community and cultural services, said: "Harrow is one of the most diverse parts of the country with a strong Bangladeshi community.
 
"It would be a great honour for Harrow to become the official training camp for the Bangladeshi team and we hope it is the start of a long-term friendship."

The 2001 census showed there were 955 people of Bangladeshi or British Bangladeshi descent in Harrow.