Posted on 30/04/2012
As Universities Week 2012 commences (30 April – 7 May), a new report launched today shows the involvement of Royal Holloway, University of London in the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic Games contribution.
The report, Olympic and Paralympic Games: The impact of universities, demonstrates the diverse contribution that universities are making to the 2012 Games, the overall impact on the UK sports industry and the work institutions and academics are doing around the Cultural Olympiad and 2012 legacy programme. Royal Hollowayis proud to be included in this report which showcases its role as an official satellite village and projects including its graphic communication workshop.
It also reveals that more than 90 per cent* of the UK’s higher education sector are engaged with London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with 65 per cent expecting to gain legacy benefits from their involvement.
The third annual Universities Week campaign, which aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities, is this year taking an in-depth look at the contribution that our universities make – and have always made – to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the sports industry and society as a whole.
Within the report, top line findings from Podium, the further and higher education unit for London 2012, show that nearly two thirds of the institutions engaged with London 2012 believe they will benefit from a tangible legacy as a result of the Games. The activity in which most institutions were involved was volunteering based, with 39 per cent of institutions involved in this type of activity, closely followed by 36 per cent of institutions involved in sports activities.
At Royal Holloway students and staff are taking part in Olympic and Paralympic events and programmes including performing in the opening ceremonies, hosting events as part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations and competing in Olympic events.
Professor Paul Layzell, Principal of Royal Holloway, said: “Universities Week 2012 is an excellent opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic work universities are contributing to the world of sport, which is especially apt with the Games taking place this year. Here at Royal Holloway we are heavily involved in London 2012 with our staff and students volunteering both here at the Rowing and Canoe Sprint Villages and at the main Olympic Village in Stratford and a number of our academics are involved with research projects linked to the Olympics. It’s also a great chance to invite people to experience university life first-hand, whether they’ve been to university themselves or not.”
Further findings in the report go on to show a significant correlation between institutions’ involvement in Games projects and expectations of financial legacies. Overall, the Podium findings show that historically there has been extensive involvement by universities in the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Throughout the week events will take place at universities across the UK to demonstrate the diverse ways in which universities have engaged with the Olympic and Paralympic Games– from sports training, research and development to the university-led Cultural Olympiad and volunteering projects that will support the London 2012 sporting events.
Karen Rothery, Chief Executive Officer, British Universities & Colleges Sports, said: “For student athletes, what better way could there be to enhance the student experience through sport than competing against peers in the Olympic stadium itself? Sport is taking centre stage in the UK and it is enjoying its highest profile for many years; in a large part this is due to the contribution of our universities as today’s report and Universities Week shows.”
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive, Universities UK, said: “Quite apart from sports training and development, universities have made an extensive contribution to sports-led research. In London 2012, we see this from the dedication of the university volunteers who are helping during the Olympic events to the London 2012 Games Makers programme, and the central involvement of universities in the lead Cultural Olympiad projects .”
On Wednesday, (2 May), a sister-report will be released, Supporting a UK success story: The impact of university research and sport development. This second Universities Week report will show the importance of university research and development in the context of UK sport and the Olympics.