Weymouth College and its students have geared up for one of the busiest weekends in the town’s history by providing college facilities, organising visiting campers and delivering live events to thousands of spectators who are set to descend on Weymouth and Portland for the climax to the Olympic sailing events.
So far and after what has been years in the planning, the College’s engagement with the London 2012 Games has provided opportunities for many students to embrace the showpiece sporting event and get involved. Whilst the College is in partnership with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council to organise events, college students have been the first port of call for many visitors who wish to access key information about what’s going on.
The College’s campus facility has provided accommodation, food and activities for hundreds of campers, whilst students have also been involved with the Olympic radio station, as well as performing and taking part in a host of cultural events – including the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.
Kieren Hasler, Vice Principal of Operations and Resources at the College, told Podium: “The College and our students are helping people out and giving many visitors from abroad lots of information about where they can watch Olympic sailing and providing crucial, local knowledge. We’ve had more and more students and volunteers help out each day and there’s so much to do and get involved with. We’re right at the hub of it at the College and we’ve been working right the way through from 6am to 11pm most days, it’s a great experience.”
The College’s work has already been recognised by Podium as the institution received a gold medal at the Podium Awards in May for ‘Innovative International Collaboration’ in Further Education for their project ‘Sailing Camps, Business and Education’ and the College has since hosted a number of Olympic nations in pre-Games training camps.
According to Kieren the College has already started to see the benefits of a London 2012 legacy starting to evolve for college students: “From a Further Education perspective the work we are doing here in Weymouth and the involvement with the Games by many Further Education institutions around the country showcases the ability of the sector to engage with people and provide opportunities.
“The College has always had the aim of embracing with the Games and we wanted to be involved and feel the excitement. It’s a great opportunity for our students to be in the mix of it and gain crucial job-related experience. There’s also, perhaps more importantly for the College, the legacy aspect to the Games events in Weymouth. Over the past year we’ve been able to engage with organisations who we wouldn’t normally have linked with and that can create future local job opportunities for current students, and more students over the next few years.”
Source: Podium 2012 – www.podium.ac.uk