Bournemouth University School of Tourism at the Olympics

It has been a great summer for Great Britain with the Olympic and Paralympic games being held in London and Bournemouth University School of Tourism has been right at the heart of it:

Several of our staff and students have been involved throughout the whole summer of the games. With roles ranging from Games makers, to Torchbearers, volunteers, venue managers and researchers, the School of Tourism has been thoroughly involved with the London 2012 Games.


The School of Tourism has 3 lecturers who were nominated to be Torchbearers. Dr. Debbie Sadd, Dr. Dorothy Fox and Alexis Major were all chosen to carry the torch when it comes through the Dorset area from July 12th.  Dr. Keith Wilkes, the Dean of the School of Tourism, commented that “the fact that Alexis, Dorothy and Debbie were chosen is a fitting recognition and reward for their long standing contributions to various communities and groups within Bournemouth and Poole”.

Dr. Debbie Sadd has also completed her PhD concerning the Olympics entitled: Mega-events, community stakeholders and legacy; London 2012 around the impacts on the site residents in London and she will be working as a volunteer during the Games in the Basketball arena.

Dr. Matt Frew is also pursuing research around the Olympics. His ground breaking research looks into the use of Live sites and social media:  ‘Live Sites and Social Media: from policy to practice’  This is a study that focuses on how the policy of mega-event Live Sites translate co-created convergence/promotion to active participation through social media.

As well as lecturers being involved in London 2012, the School of Tourism have also helped place lots of current and former students from the school in high profile positions associated with the Olympics. Below are highlighted a few examples of the varied roles that our School of Tourism students have acquired:


Our students have been heavily involved in the Games throughout the summer in a variety of roles. Below is just a brief highlight of our current and recently graduated student roles at the Olympics:

  • John Millard was involved in a consultancy project on motivational techniques for staff at Sodexo Prestige for the Olympic Games.
  • Rachel Rhodes was  a London ambassador for a week during the Games at Heathrow Airport
  • Emma Lincoln was working for a ‘behind the scenes’ catering company supplying catering services to the Olympic Broadcasting Services. She was also offered a Games Maker role 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 was volunteering during the Olympics, as part of the Press Operations Team as a photo team member at Excel
  • Zoe Poole, Rongrong Zhang, Eleanor Cole, were among many students working for Sodexo
  • Shun-Han Chang was working in Weymouth as an interpreter
  • Jessica Bailey was working with one of the marketing partners to deliver their hospitality programme centred around the Games.
  • Mustafa Saricalar was also working on the Games as a transportation team leader
  • Leroy-Winston Scott was working at both Games looking after the National Olympic Committees with roles including driving the delegations around from athletes to ambassadors and will be based at the Olympic village.
  • Valentina Tkachenko  was  working with Jet Set Sports an Official Olympic Games sponsor
  • Harriett Clarke was a volunteer at the Paralympic Swimming. In addition she worked on the Ceremonies in Weymouth & Portland.
  • Lucy Vollborth was part of the protocol team, particularly language services and will be based in the Athlete’s village

Recently graduated Events Management student Sophie Ridge worked within the Sport Information Team for the Gymnastics. Sophie gave us her account of her time working there:

“After working on the gymnastics test Olympics in January I was very excited to start working on the Rhythmic Gymnastics in the Olympics based at Wembley Arena. My role was Sport Information, I was based in an office right next to the field of play, and I could hear everything going on throughout the event which added to the excitement. I worked in a small team of five and between us we had to do 9 hour shifts, either an early morning shift starting at 6am (!) or starting around lunchtime.

Our main responsibilities were to ensure that any paperwork handed in by the gymnasts was processed properly and delivered to the correct location in the arena. This included routine difficulty forms, music submission, score inquiry forms as well as handing out specific letters to each country’s Head of Delegation and providing results and start lists. We also were identified as lost property due to our central location! Overall a variety of different tasks took place as well as a room for countries to celebrate their results!

I met some fantastic people throughout my Olympic journey, whether they were games makers, paid workers, tourists on the tubes as well as gymnasts and coaches.  I also formed a great relationship with someone on the organising committee for the 2016 Olympics in Rio! I was extremely lucky to have been involved in such a historical event and the atmosphere in London has been incredible.  I am definitely on an Olympic come down!”

The School of Tourism would like to congratulate all our students and staff in helping to put on such a successful Games.

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