With anticipation high for London’s 2012 Olympic Games, Bournemouth University’s staff and students were keenly involved right from the start: acting as torch, medal and flower bearers, venue managers, athlete escorts, interpreters, transporters, games makers and press officers.
Students also worked alongside hospitality and catering companies such as Sodexo, ensuring all could attend and participate in the Games in comfort. The School of Tourism placed many current students and graduates in high profile positions associated with the Olympics.
Activities supported by our BU Sport students included the Sports Arena, a free interactive site during the Olympic and Paralympic Games that hosted 100,000 visitors including Government Ministers, International Sportsmen and Women and high profile Olympic officials.
In addition, we supported the Weymouth and Portland Medal Ceremonies Team in Dorset to ensure a flawless delivery of the medals ceremonies for both Olympic and Paralympic sailing events, an activity that showcased a number of our students to a global television audience.
Below are just a few examples of the varied roles that our students performed:
Rachel Rhodes was a London Ambassador at Heathrow Airport.
Emma Lincoln worked for a catering company supplying catering services to the Olympic Broadcasting Services. She was also a Games Maker in the Events Services team at the Handball Arena for the Paralympic Games.
Aini Maensivu was an assistant venue manager at Eton Dorney, the rowing venue.
Charlotta Eriksson, volunteered as part of the Press Operations Team at Excel.
Shun-Han Chang worked in Weymouth as an interpreter.
Jessica Bailey worked with one of the marketing partners to deliver their hospitality programme.
Mustafa Saricalar worked as a transportation team leader.
But, it has not just been students that have worked at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, a number of staff members also volunteered for positions at the events. Dr Debbie Sadd is a lecturer in BU’s School of Tourism and worked as a Games Maker at the Olympics. She was tasked with looking after journalists and photographers in the basketball arena. Talking about her involvement in the Games, Debbie said: “I was gobsmacked with how well organised it was. Everyone was walking around with smiles on their faces – everyone was happy!”
Beth Shephard is a Projects Officer within the Student Academic Services (SAS) at BU and also worked as a Games Maker. Specifically she worked as a Games Maker as part of the Venue Entry Team (Security) at the Olympic Park. She said:
I had a fantastic time and can honestly say it will be something that I remember for the rest of my life. The best part of the experience was knowing that I was helping to ensure the spectators had the best possible experience of the Olympics. There was such a lovely atmosphere within the Olympic Park and it was great to be able to help visitors to their venues or taking photos for them and there was an incredible buzz of excitement across the park every single day, even at the start of a shift at 6.30am!
The post-London 2012 talk will be about the legacy that the Games has left on Britain, but at BU we already celebrating with our staff and students and the legacy they have helped to create.
Hospitality students serve HRH Princess Royal
The purpose of HRH Princess Anne’s visit in December 2012 was to see and hear about the achievements that BU staff and students from various Schools have made over the past year, including working on the London 2012 Olympics.
School of Tourism Hospitality Management students were lucky enough to serve HRH Princess Anne canapés that they made especially for her visit. Second year student Mhairi Strachan was on the serving team and commented on the experience:
“For the Princess Royal to visit Bournemouth University; it was an honour not only for the university, but for the students. Being part of the serving team, it was again, another great experience to be ambassadors for the School of Tourism and not only that but for the other students studying hospitality in the UK, and having that recognition. It was definitely a surreal experience and one of the greatest achievements I am going to remember for a long time.”