Those students who make the grade will be offered an opportunity to be part of the almost 3,000-strong Press Operations team at the Olympic and Paralympic Games!
This is the first time that modules have been integrated into an academic course, certainly from over two years out before the Games. LOCOG and Sheffield Hallam have worked together to provide courses of practical value to students.
They will learn what press operations is all about, and have the opportunity to work on one of the many test events we will be staging in the run up to 2012. In addition, some International Sports Federations have expressed interest in providing guest lecturers and offering certain students the opportunity to work at their international events.
I have been involved with press operations – at national and international level – for over 23 years and have had the privilege of working on five Olympic Games.
As a student at Bristol University in the early 1980s I yearned to work in the international sports arena. The best experience I gained was from serving as the Athletic Union President – juggling a schedule of limited minibuses and an over stretched budget for more than 25 sports clubs was a challenge. Using this experience, my modern languages degree and enthusiasm as sportswoman and coach, I managed to get a junior position at the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) and the rest is history.
I have been lucky enough to meet many sports stars and heroes along the way.
However, this is not why I have stayed in this challenging profession. The thing that has motivated me the most and given me the most pleasure is working with volunteers and seeing people and careers develop through working on incredible events.
Potentially up to 350 students could find themselves with a chance to work on London 2012. They will be along side event professionals and people who will give freely of their time and extensive experience – perhaps from other fields in life.
It will be intense, exhausting, dramatic and incredibly rewarding. Not for the faint hearted. And the exciting truth is that London 2012 has no chance of success without the contribution of a knowledgeable and enthusiastic workforce.
What an opportunity for a young person who wants to have a career in sports event management. And what a legacy for sports management in this country!