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SUMMER 2012 :: Issue 15 :: London 2012 Special Edition

London 2012 Special Ones to watch

On campus

Games Makers

Learning legacy

Brunel students and alumni in Team GB

Training camps, the Torch and community events

Student volunteers keeping the Games running

How Brunel is leading the science behind the sport


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Contents 3-5

Ones to watch: Brunel

10-11

students and alumni in Team GB 6-9

Training camps on campus: stars from Canada and the Republic of Korea prepare for the Games at Brunel

12-13

Learning legacy: maximising the scientific impact of the Games at the Brunel-led pre-Olympic conference Games Makers: two of Brunel’s 60 student volunteers explain their roles

14

The Olympics in West London: events on campus and in the local community

15

Torch Relay: Brunel students carrying the Olympic flame

16

The Gallery: Brunel athletes open the Olympic Stadium

Welcome to the Express London 2012 Special The team behind Brunel’s 2012 Programmes introduces your guide to the Games.

Professor Ian Campbell, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience and Staff Development “In 2005, when London won the bid to host the 2012 Games, a group sat down to talk about what this could mean for the University. In response, Brunel 2012 Programmes was launched to make the most of the opportunities presented. As you will see in this Express special edition, much has happened since then. Our work has been broad ranging and linked to the University’s strategic imperatives. We have made the most of our outstanding research by leading ICSEMIS, the international pre-Games conference; we have focused on enhancing the student experience, in particular through student-led activities; and we have developed community engagement and business partnerships. This, of course, is in addition to attracting international Olympic and Paralympic athletes to use our worldclass sports facilities and services.

“I’m delighted that Brunel’s involvement in London 2012 justifies the production of a special edition of Express. There are only a few universities in the UK where sport is a big deal all the way from student and staff participation to the elite level. This is one of them. The fantastic sports facilities and programmes that have been put in place in the past 10 years have made Brunel an important part of the success of the 2012 Games and of the British team. Some of the world’s best athletes are using Brunel as their preparation base and we will cheering on some of the graduates of our Sports Scholarship Programme as they as they live out their dreams on sport’s greatest stage. Their stories are told in this special edition, which I hope you enjoy.”

Credits

For the latest news, results and schedule reminders:

Consultant Editor Neil Young

/bruneluniversity brunel.ac.uk/2012 Express is available to read and download on our website: 75%

Neil Young, Head of Brunel 2012 Programmes

Keep up with the latest news

@BrunelUni @Brunel2012

75

Through Brunel 2012 Programmes, we have been able to enhance our profile locally, nationally and internationally.”

brunel.ac.uk/news/express

Editor Rachel Turvey Design Andrew Hill Photography Sally Trussler, Neil Graveney, Mark Shearman Print Brunel University Press

Contact the Communications Team communications@brunel.ac.uk 01895 265588


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Ones to watch: Brunel students and alumni in Team GB Ten Brunel students and former students have been selected to appear in the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. Express finds out who and when to watch, and gets to know some of the likely medal contenders.

Usain Bolt discussed training, injuries and the depth of Jamaican sprinting talent with some of Brunel’s Sports Scholars during his annual summer training camp at Brunel in 2011.

Brunel’s involvement in the Olympic and Paralympic Games stretches back to 1948 when Borough Road College students Les Lewis and Stan Jones competed in the British athletics team. Since then nearly 100 Brunel students and former students have represented Team GB. The profiles that appear on the next few pages demonstrate the calibre of the elite sportsmen and women who choose to come to Brunel to combine study with their training. From national team captains to individual superstars, Team Brunel has provided some of the biggest names in Team GB for London 2012.

Why Brunel? Brunel is a university of choice for elite athletes because the combination of high quality academic programmes and excellent sports facilities makes it possible to find a balance between study and training. The Sports Scholarships programme is specifically designed to meet the needs of athletes in higher education, offering athlete-friendly accommodation next to the sports facilities, free facility use, support from the Sport Sciences team, discounted rehabilitation services and pastoral support among a host of other benefits. As well as our own students, athletes from around the world travel to Brunel to make the most of the sports facilities on campus. The University has been a High Performance Centre and Regional Performance Centre for UK Athletics since 2005, and has acted as a summer training base for Usain Bolt and the Racers Track Club since 2009.

Kate Walsh Sport Hockey Position Defender and women’s team captain Brunel history BSc Sport Sciences graduate, 2003 When to watch Competition starts 29 July; Final 10 August The fourth most capped Englishwoman in history, Kate has been Captain of England and Great Britain since 2003 and will lead the British team in London 2012. The Games will be her third Olympics and her second as captain. The British team finished sixth in Beijing but subsequently overhauled their training regime and are now genuine medal contenders, with a current ranking of fourth in the world. The team reached their first Champions Trophy final in February 2012, narrowly losing to the Argentinian world champions and moving to within sight of Olympic glory on their home turf.


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Tom Aggar Sport Rowing Event Arms and Shoulders Single Scull (ASM1x) Brunel history Current MSc Sport Sciences student When to watch Heats 31 August, 10.50am; Final 2 September, 11.10am Tom is the reigning Paralympic and World Champion and world record holder in the arms only single scull. In his six-year career he remains unbeaten at international level.

Anita Asante Sport Football Position Midfielder Brunel history BA Politics and English graduate 2006, MRes graduate 2008, and current PhD student Olympic history Great Britain will be represented in women’s football for the first time since it became an Olympic sport in 1996

Tom played rugby at county level before an accident in 2005 left him paralysed and he took up rowing to keep fit. He won World Championship gold in his first international season before taking the 2008 Paralympic title in only his second year of competitive rowing. Twice named World Rower of the Year in the adaptive crew category, Tom is dominant in his event and will be the hot favourite to retain his title in London.

When to watch Competition starts 25 July; Final 9 August

Matt Daly Sport Hockey Position Forward Brunel history BSc Sport Sciences graduate, 2005 Olympic history Competed in Beijing in 2008; Great Britain finished fifth When to watch Competition starts 30 July; Final 11 August

Sarah Grady Sport Wheelchair Basketball Brunel history BSc Business Studies and Sport Sciences graduate, 2005 Paralympic history Competed in Sydney in 2000 at the age of 16, and in Athens in 2004 When to watch Competition starts 30 August; Final 7 September

Perri Shakes-Drayton Sport Athletics Event 400m hurdles, 4x400m relay Brunel history BSc Sport Sciences graduate, 2011 When to watch (hurdles) Heats 5 August, 7pm; Semi-finals 6 August, 8.15pm; Final 8 August, 8.45pm When to watch (relay) Heats 10 August, 7.10pm; Final 11 August, 8.25pm One of the biggest up-and-coming stars of British athletics, Perri is the reigning World Indoor Champion as part of Britain’s 4x400m relay quartet and the 2010 European bronze medallist in both the relay and her specialist event, the 400m hurdles. Perri is within sight of a medal in the hurdles and is a strong contender for gold in the relay, having run a determined anchor leg to win at the World Indoor Championships in March. She will enjoy a true home advantage in 2012, as the Olympic Stadium is just a stone’s throw from where she lives and trains in Bow, East London.


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Matthew Wells Sport Rowing Event Men’s quadruple scull Brunel history MSc Sport Sciences graduate, 2009 When to watch Heats 28 July, 11.30am; Semi-finals 1 August, 10.40am; Final 3 August, 10am Matt won bronze in the double sculls at the 2008 Games in Beijing, claiming Britain’s first men’s Olympic sculling medal in over 30 years. London 2012 will be Matt’s fourth Olympics, and his experience will be essential to the success of the newly formed men’s quad. He moved up to the larger boat in early 2012 after 12 years racing in a pair. Matt has won a number of medals at World Championship and World Cup level, and will hope to continue rewriting British sculling history by bringing home the country’s first ever Olympic medal in the quad sculls event.

Eniola Aluko

Abi Oyepitan Sport Athletics Event 100m, 200m Brunel history BSc Politics and Sociology, 2001 Olympic history Competed in the 100m and 200m in Athens in 2004; reached the final of the 200m, becoming the first British woman in 20 years to reach an Olympic sprint final When to watch (100m) Heats 3 August, 10.40am and 7.05pm; Semi-finals 4 August, 7.35pm; Final 4 August, 9.55pm When to watch (200m) Heats 6 August, 7.20pm; Semi‑finals 7 August, 8.25pm; Final 8 August, 9pm

Sport Football Position Forward Brunel history LLB Law graduate 2008 When to watch Competition starts 25 July; Final 9 August Striker Eniola made her senior international debut in 2004 at the age of 17, and has since represented England at two World Cups and two European Championships. After graduating from Brunel, she spent three years playing soccer in the USA before returning to the UK in early 2012 to play for Birmingham City. After achieving first class honours in her Brunel Law degree, Eni has combined her playing career with ongoing legal training in both the USA and the UK. Her eventual goal is to establish a transatlantic entertainment law practice.

Beth Rodford Sport Rowing Event Women’s quadruple scull Brunel history BSc Sport Sciences graduate, 2005 Olympic history Competed in the women’s eight in Beijing in 2008; Great Britain finished fifth When to watch Heats 28 July, 9.50am; Final 1 August, 10.20am


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Training camps on campus: the Republic of Korea The Republic of Korea’s Olympic team is preparing for London 2012 by holding their pre-Games training camp at Brunel. The athletes and their coaching team arrive at Brunel on 20 July 2012 and will stay until the Games end on 12 August. The Korean team are making use of campus facilities including the sports halls for wrestling and handball, and the exercise studios for boxing. In addition, they are taking advantage of top class facilities within the London Borough of Hillingdon including the 50m swimming pool at the £31 million Hillingdon Sports Centre and Leisure Complex in Uxbridge. Mr Park Yong-sung, President of the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), said: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Brunel University. The KOC looks forward to gaining the best results in the 2012 London Olympics.” Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee Lord Coe added: “I am sure that Brunel University will provide excellent training facilities for the Korean Olympic Committee athletes and hope that this agreement leads to the development of a strong relationship via which both parties benefit across sporting and educational agendas.”

Top ten Team The Republic of Korea first participated in the Olympic Games in 1948, and the nation’s captial city, Seoul, hosted the Games in 1988. At the 2008 Games in Beijing the Korean team finished seventh overall in the medal table, ahead of Japan, Italy and France. The team won 13 gold, 10 silver, and 8 bronze medals across 14 different sports. In the history of the Games Korean athletes have won more gold medals than any other nation in Archery and Taekwondo, and the team have also won numerous golds in sports including Wrestling, Judo and Badminton. Some of the country’s most successful teams are based at Brunel for the pre‑Games camp, including:

Athletics Badminton Boxing Fencing Handball Hockey Judo Swimming Table Tennis Photo credit: LOCOG

Taekwondo Wrestling


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Photo credit: Athit Perawongmetha / Getty Images

Amongst the Korean athletes training at Brunel are a number of defending Olympic Champions in sports such as badminton, swimming and taekwondo. Express introduces three of the new faces you might see on campus – some of biggest international names in their sports.

Park Tae-hwan

Lee In-jong

Lee Yong-dae

Sport Swimming Event 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle

Sport Taekwondo Event Heavyweight

Sport Badminton Event Singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles

The Republic of Korea’s swimming superstar won gold in the 400m freestyle in Beijing and took silver in the 200m final behind Michael Phelps, becoming only the fourth man in history to swim the distance in under 1m45s. He will be a strong medal contender over a number of freestyle distances in London.

Developed in the 1950s to bring martial arts training into the Korean armed forces, Taekwondo is the national sport of the Republic of Korea. The Korean team have won gold in at least one category in both the men’s and women’s competitions in every Games since Taekwondo became an Olympic sport in 2000.

Lee Yong-dae’s unexpected victory with partner Lee Hyo-jung in the 2008 mixed doubles final made them the youngest gold medallists in Olympic Badminton history – Lee Yong-dae was just 20 years old at the time.

A hugely popular figure in his home country, Park Tae-hwan was the first Korean ever to win an Olympic swimming medal. He is the reigning World Champion over 400m freestyle, and the reigning Asian Champion in freestyle over 100m, 200m and 400m.

Lee In-jong is the reigning Asian Games champion and will be competing in her first Olympic Games in London.

Now playing with a new partner to defend his mixed doubles title, Lee will hope to build on a good run of doubles results this year and continue the success that has made him a household name in his home nation, where badminton is one of the most popular and widely-played sports.


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Training camps on campus: Athletics Canada Once the Korean team departs, Brunel’s attention will switch to the Paralympic Games. The University will host Athletics Canada’s Paralympic team from 22 to 26 August as they make their final preparations for London 2012. Canada is one of the world’s leading Paralympic nations, finishing seventh in the medal table in Beijing 2008. Ten of their nineteen gold medals came in athletics, so the Brunel training camp will host many of the country’s strongest medal contenders. Laurier Primeau, Head Paralympic Coach for Athletics Canada, said: “To be able to base the Canadian Paralympic Team at Brunel prior to entering the Paralympic Village has significant advantages – not only is the proximity to Heathrow very convenient after a trans-Atlantic flight, but the accommodation and athletics facilities on campus are as good as anywhere in the UK. Our most recent site visit allowed us to sample meals, test transportation routes and finalise some of the adaptations necessary for our team. We are more than pleased with these elements, and look forward to conducting our final preparations at Brunel.” Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Campbell added: “We are delighted that Athletics Canada has chosen Brunel, not only because of its worldclass sports facilities, but also because of our cutting edge research into factors that may influence the performance of Paralympic athletes.”

Photo credit: LOCOG

In October 2011 the Canadian team held a coaching seminar on campus for students and local coaches – find out more on page 14.

Paralympic athletics: did you know…? • London 2012 is set to be the biggest Paralympic Games ever, with more nations taking part and more tickets sold than ever before. • With 170 events and 1,100 athletes, athletics is the biggest Paralympic sport. Athletes compete in the traditional track and field events, with some events modified for athletes with certain disabilities. • Paralympic athletics is open to all disability groups, with each group represented by a class number: 11-13 for athletes with visual impairments; 20 for athletes with a learning disability; 31-38 for athletes with cerebral palsy; 40-46 for athletes with limb loss or deficiency; and 51-58 for athletes competing in wheelchairs.


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Canada’s athletes draw on a long medalwinning heritage at the Paralympic Games, and today’s stars have continued the success story. Express finds out more about three of the likely medal contenders.

Josh Cassidy

Kyle Pettey

Michelle Stilwell

Event Wheelchair racing, 800m, 1500, 5000m and marathon, T54 class

Event Discus and shot putt, F34/35 class

Event Wheelchair racing, 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m, T52 class

2012 is already a winning year for Josh, as he broke the world marathon record at the 2012 Boston Marathon and won gold in the 800m at the BT Paralympic World Cup. London 2012 will be his second Olympics, and he will be a favourite to reach the Podium this year.

London 2012 will be Kyle’s third Olympic Games – in 2000 he took silver in both the F35 discus and shot putt, following this in 2008 with bronze in the F33-34/52 shot putt.

A gold-medal winning athlete in wheelchair basketball at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, Michelle switched to wheelchair racing in 2004 and went on to win gold in 2008 in Beijing in the T52 100m and 200m. She is the only female Paralympic athlete ever to win gold in two separate summer sports.

Josh is the Canadian record holder over all four of his events, and has won road races around the world including the 2010 London Marathon. Away from athletics, he works as a freelance illustrator.

Having broke the world record in the F34 shot putt at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, becoming the first Canadian thrower ever to win gold in the competition’s history, Kyle will hope to complete his collection of Paralympic medals in London.

Michelle is the current world record holder in her class over 100m and 200m. In 2011’s International Paralympic Committee World Championships she won gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m and took silver in the 800m, making her a strong contender for gold in at least one of her events.


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Research themes at ICSEMIS 2012 The ICSEMIS Convention programme follows nine main themes, demonstrating the breadth of international science and research on show: •

Athlete welfare

Eligibility and inclusion

Elite performance

Sport medicine and injury prevention

Governance and policy

International sports development and management

Major sporting events

Pedagogy

Physical activity and health

Brunel at the helm of the Olympic learning legacy Brunel University is hosting this year’s International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS), the conference held before each Olympiad to highlight the science behind elite sporting achievement. In 2008 Brunel successfully led a consortium bid by five UK universities to host ICSEMIS 2012, with the goal of “inspiring a learning legacy” through sport and ensuring that London 2012 continues to exert a positive influence on science, education and medicine long after the Games end. The Convention will be opened on 19 July by HRH The Princess Royal, and runs until 24 July. Up to 2,500 sports educators, specialist researchers and sports practitioners, including Olympic physiotherapists and trainers, are expected to attend the Convention at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow. Professor Celia Brackenridge OBE, Professorial Research Fellow in Youth Sport at Brunel and convenor of the Brunel ICSEMIS 2012 Consortium, explained the significance of hosting the Convention in Scotland: “As a bid team, Brunel and our partners at the University of Ulster, Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Strathclyde and Cardiff Metropolitan University are committed to spreading the benefits of the London Games to other parts of the UK.


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“Each of the five university partners in the Consortium acts as a hub for a regional university network: each has developed a programme of activities to engage members of the public, especially young people, in the wonder and excitement of sport science. Our aim is to inspire a learning legacy that will show the population at large how the sciences, education and medicine in sport can enrich their lives.” Brunel’s commitment to promoting research as part of London 2012 was recognised earlier this year with a bronze medal at the Podium Awards, a celebration of the contribution of UK universities to London 2012. Brunel won bronze in the RCUK Award for Exceptional Research Contribution, in recognition of the Olympicrelated research publication programme which forms an integral part of ICSEMIS. Professor Brackenridge explained: “Previous preOlympic scientific conventions did not fully capitalise on the potential for a learning legacy. Indeed, even legacy discourse for 2012 has paid very little attention to learning as a specific outcome of the London Games. From the start, the organising committee for ICSEMIS 2012 adopted ‘Inspiring a learning legacy’ as its main theme, and this led to a collaboration with publishers Taylor and Francis to develop a research publication programme.” Dr Vassil Girginov, the programme’s Executive Academic Editor, added: “This is the first time that a coherent Olympic publication programme has been established. As well as journals and books we now have a dedicated online platform to promote critical scholarship.” The publication programme includes special journal issues, the release of post-Convention volumes, a new web platform and an eBook of abstracts.

Supporting education in West London As part of the West London Partnership for the 2012 Games (WLP 2012), Brunel has supported a number of projects dedicated to maximising the academic benefits of the Games for the local area.

2012 education programme launched by Brunel conference

Going for Gold scheme helps students hone events management skills

In 2008, WLP 2012 hosted an education conference bringing over 50 key education professionals from the local area onto campus.

In 2012, WLP 2012 helped a group of third year Sport Sciences students studying events management to stage their own sports and cultural events for local young people.

The conference was designed to raise the profile of the national London 2012 education programme which provides free resources and opportunities for young people. As a result of the event, a total of over 90% of West London schools signed up for the programme.

The students received a small grant from WLP 2012 in addition to mentoring support in events management, and the Olympic and Paralympic mascots attended the scheme’s launch event (pictured).

See page 14 for more information on WLP 2012’s activities.

“We have developed a programme of activities to engage members of the public, especially young people, in the wonder and excitement of sport science”


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Student volunteers making the Games In addition to those students and graduates competing at London 2012, more than 60 Brunel students will be instrumental in helping to make the Games happen through their roles as specialist volunteer Games Makers in the sports of Boccia, Goalball, Handball and Wrestling.

Brunel’s well-organised and deep-rooted culture of student volunteering led the London 2012 Organising Committee to approach the University in 2010, seeking specialist volunteers for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Selected from Brunel’s Sport Sciences programmes, these students are making use of skills gained during their degrees and from previous volunteering roles, for example in sports coaching and sporting events management. Their broad knowledge base makes them uniquely qualified to ensure that competition runs smoothly in four of the more unusual sports to be contested this summer - Boccia, Goalball, Handball and Wrestling These Olympic and Paralympic sports are practised by only a minority in the UK and therefore lack experienced assistant staff. All volunteers have been fully trained to assist in the management and coordination of their events, and will receive free public transport to and from their shifts and a full Olympic kit. The chance to be part of history – and to gain a unique addition to their CVs – led second year Business Studies and Sport Sciences student Katrin Schlimm and graduating Sport Sciences student Emma Gibb to enter the selection process to become Games Makers. They told Express how they’re spending their summer.

Katrin Schlimm has been selected to volunteer at the Olympic Handball and Paralympic Goalball competitions. Volunteering at the Olympics forms the first part of Katrin’s work placement year. “I’m working in team liaison, helping communications between the athletes and officials. I’m German and I also speak French, Spanish and English, so speaking several languages will be really helpful. We’re the social glue for the competitions! I’ve done a lot of volunteering in the past, mainly in sports events management – one of my biggest achievements was organising a children’s hospice charity run and securing £5,000 of sponsorship. I love attending sports events because the atmosphere is amazing. Sport has always been a big part of my life – my brother is disabled and sport helped him to integrate and make friends. We started off doing judo together, and I also did a lot of gymnastics back home in Germany. All the volunteers are really excited – everyone has a massive smile on their face! I’m most looking forward to being at the Opening Ceremony. I want to get a holistic view of the Olympics in another country and see how it’s organised – that will be great experience for a career in sports events management.”


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Watch out for Brunel’s student volunteers at… Boccia Boccia is unique to the Paralympic Games, and involves throwing a ball so that it lands as close as possible to a target ball, or ‘jack’. It is played by wheelchair athletes with cerebral palsy and related neurological conditions, and requires extreme skill and concentration as well as muscular control and accuracy.

Goalball Goalball is one of the most popular Paralympic sports and is played by athletes with visual impairments. It is played by two teams of three, and the aim is to roll the ball into the other team’s net – players judge the position and movement of the ball by listening to the sound of bells inside it.

Emma Gibb is volunteering at the Paralympic Wrestling and Boccia competitions, and is part of ‘Team Heathrow’. “I’m a field of play attendant for Wrestling in the ExCel Arena – I’m based inside the Arena with the media, spectators and fans, and basically my job is to get involved and help make sure the athletes know where they’re supposed to be and when. For Boccia, I’m working in team liaison behind the scenes. I’m also working at Heathrow meeting and greeting the athletes and helping them through Customs – I’m at Terminal 3 so I’ll greet some big teams like the Japanese and the Americans. I’ve done a lot of volunteering, mostly based around hockey – I’ve been a volunteer coach at a local club and I’ve been involved in a lot of charity events. I’m hoping to work for a charity in London when I graduate, then I’m planning to join the RAF. The whole summer is going to be like nothing I’ve ever experienced. The Olympic Park is amazing. I can’t really picture in my head what it’s going to be like – I love sport and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Handball Handball has been an Olympic sport since 1972 and is played by more than 20 million people worldwide in over 160 countries. Combining elements of football and basketball, it is one of the fastest team ball sports and involves physical contact and high speed endto-end action.

Wrestling Wrestling is one of the oldest known sports, with origins in Ancient Egypt and then Ancient Greece, where it was one of the most popular events at the original Olympic Games. Around 350 athletes will compete in 2012 across several weight categories, in Men’s Greco Roman and Freestyle Wrestling, and Women’s Wrestling.


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The Olympics in West London

Local coaches attend Paralympic standard workshop

Brunel is part of the West London Partnership for the 2012 Games (WLP 2012), aiming to engage local people with the Olympics and Paralympics and increase participation in sport and exercise in the community.

During a visit to finalise Athletics Canada’s pre‑Paralympic Games training camp at Brunel (see page 8), PRO-ACTIVE West London and WLP 2012 organised a seminar for students, coaches and athletes from across West London to gain an insight into programmes run by Canada’s top coaching staff.

Since the announcement in 2005 that the Olympics were on their way to London, WLP 2012 has worked with Sport England’s local community sports partnership, PRO‑ACTIVE West London, to run a series of events and activities on campus. The following events give a taste of some of the ways in which local people have got involved in London 2012 at Brunel. See page 11 to find out more about WLP 2012’s participation in the learning legacy of the Games.

Attendees learnt about coaching processes and programmes in Canada and how these affect athletes at all levels of the participation spectrum. The evening was interactive and informal with opportunities to pose questions to the Canadian coaches.

StreetGames Festival: coming to Brunel on 24 July

Sir Steve Redgrave visits Brunel to encourage volunteering In December 2011 Sir Steve Redgrave attended a volunteering convention at Brunel on behalf of Sport Makers, a national programme co-ordinated by Sport England to create a volunteering legacy after the London 2012 Games. The Sport Makers programme encourages individuals to make sport happen on a local level and to help their friends and family become more active. The convention at Brunel, organised by PRO-ACTIVE West London and attended by over 50 potential student volunteers, gave essential health and safety knowledge and provided some of the skills necessary to succeed as a champion of local sport.

To coincide with the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay on campus on 24 July, PRO-ACTIVE West London, WLP 2012 and Brunel University are organising a StreetGames festival giving young people a chance to participate in a range of sports competitions on campus. The day will include football and dance competitions in addition to other sports tasters. Staff from GlaxoSmithKline will volunteer at the event as part of their commitment to corporate social responsibility.


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24 July: Olympic Torch comes to Brunel The Olympic Torch Relay will pass through the campus on 24 July 2012. Recalling the original Olympic Games, the flame was lit on 10 May 2012 at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, an ancient sanctuary in southern Greece. Torchbearers then carried the flame to the UK where it embarked upon a 70 day tour of the British Isles, travelling to within an hour of the homes of 95% of the population. The relay will finish at the Olympic Stadium at the Opening Ceremony, when the Torch will light a cauldron that will burn throughout the Games.

Carrying the Torch 8,000 torchbearers are carrying the Torch on its journey round the country – all were nominated by friends or family because of the inspirational work they do to support and enrich their community. A number of Brunel students have been selected, after nominations either by the University or in their hometowns for their volunteer work, charity fundraising, or involvement in community sports programmes. Express found out more about two of the students who will carry the flame for London 2012.

Nick (left) and Ainsley are pictured holding the 2008 Beijing Olympic Torch, which was designed by a Brunel graduate.

Graduating Information Systems student Ainsley Bell was nominated by Brunel University as part of Samsung’s Torch Relay scheme for universities. “I was nominated by Brunel initially because of my academic achievements – I had the highest final degree mark in my academic School, and was picked along with 15 other students who had achieved the highest grades in their Schools. To be selected from this final 16, I had to write a 500 word essay about my community work, a football project that I set up to encourage children to get involved with sport. It was a major achievement for me to finish my degree at all – when I came back for my final year I was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors told me to defer for a year, but I carried on with my studies while having operations and treatment. I put in double the work and it paid dividends. It’s a very humbling experience to have been selected. To me, the Torch represents hope. People can experience struggles and can overcome them, and come out on top. I hope I inspire people to overcome their own hurdles.”

Sport Sciences PhD student Nick Tiller was nominated to carry the Torch by a friend who was inspired by his charity fundraising. “I was nominated by a friend and didn’t know anything about it for a month – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I didn’t think I would get through to the final shortlist. I’ve done a lot of charity work and have been involved in ultra marathon running for several years – the most extreme race I’ve done was the Marathon des Sables, a six day race on foot through the Sahara Desert. You have to be self-sufficient and carry all your own food and medical supplies – the organisers just provide tents and water. I wanted to raise a lot of money for charity – I’m not a celebrity, I’m no one special, so I knew I had to do something a little bit stupid! I raised £5,500 for charity, just from friends and family. It’s a huge honour to be part of such a historic event.”


In Pictures ::LONDON 2012 SPECIAL EDITION :: EXPRESS MAGAZINE

THE GALLERY Brunel’s athletes helped open the London 2012 Olympic Stadium in May, finishing second in the medal table and a creditable fourth overall at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Outdoor Athletics Championships.

Photo credit: LOCOG

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The annual BUCS championships acted as the test event for the Olympic Stadium, as part of the London Prepares series. A crowd of 46,000 watched the action on Saturday night, before a ceremony to mark the Stadium’s official opening.

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The men’s 4x100m relay team broke the BUCS Championship Record, as individual 100m bronze medallist Andre Wright joined Joshua Abladey, Dannish WalkerKhan and Junior Ejehu to storm to victory.

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Cold temperatures and driving rain could not take the spring out of Brunel’s triple jumpers, who took gold and bronze in both the women’s and men’s competitions. Kola Adedoyin jumped 15.42m to win the men’s event.

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Another gold and bronze came in the women’s 100m hurdles, as Stephanie Gaynor claimed her third BUCS gold before picking up a second medal in the 4x100m relay.

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See your photos here! Want to see your images published in Express? Submit your best pictures of anything Brunel and you could see them in the Express gallery. Email your high resolution photos (ideally 1MB+) to communications@brunel.ac.uk or submit them on Brunel’s Flickr or Facebook pages. 136913B 110712


Express Magazine - London 2012 special