A GROUP of Scarborough students got more than they bargained for on a visit to the new Olympic Village after ‘bumping into’ Lord Sebastian Coe.
First year business school students studying Sports and Leisure Management, and Tourism Management at the Scarborough Campus of the University of Hull were surprised to find themselves face to face with the chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, while they were on a recent field trip.
The 18 students from the Scarborough Campus were being given a guided tour around the new Olympic Village in East London when they literally bumped into Lord Coe, who was surveying the ongoing building progress.
Ray Barker, module leader for the two programmes, said: “The students have assignments coming up to look at facility management and to study international tourism attractions, so coming to London was the natural choice, and we were very fortunate to be able to get a guided tour of the park.
“Lord Coe was pleased to stop and chat about the progress of the site, especially when he found that we were from the University of Hull as he was awarded an honorary degree from us in the 1980’s.”
During their tour the students observed the work already completed, such as the velodrome, basketball and handball arenas and the aquatic centre, as well as those still under construction such as the Olympic stadium.
“It is an inspiring site and the quality of the build looks very impressive. The investment in the area has been enormous, for example we came back through the new Stratford International Terminal, which has been completely revamped for the games,’ said Mr Barker.
“During the tour, our guide talked a lot about the regeneration of the area and the fact that once the games are over they will leave a lasting legacy as the East London sports park will be an impressive sporting facility for the future.
“It was a very packed experience for the students and one which will be very beneficial for their coursework.”
As an additional part of the trip, the students were taken on a walking tour of the south bank of London.
The surprise meeting comes as Scarborough waits to find out if the Olympic Torch will be coming to the town. Scarborough Council has submitted a bid to Olympic bosses, requesting the town be considered when the route is mapped out for the Torch on its 70 day tour of Britain ahead of the games at the end of July 2012.