Students from the University of Hull have volunteered at the Team GB kitting-out event – helping medal-winning hopefuls ahead of the Minsk 2019 European Games which kicks off on June 21.
Ten students spent four days at the Birmingham NEC at the event, which sees athletes try on and collect their kits for the games.
This exclusive opportunity for University of Hull students follows the announcement earlier this year that the University became the first and only University to be an Official Partner of Team GB in January.
The partnership covers a six-year period and includes the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
The partnership includes opportunities that will benefit the University of Hull’s students, staff and communities, as well as presenting opportunities for joint research and enterprise projects, delivered by the University in support of Team GB.
This will include hosting and participating in Team GB events, developing courses and CV-boosting opportunities such as work experience and volunteering.
Kitting out was one of the first opportunities students have had as part of the Team GB partnership.
Charlotte Pettitt, who is studying a Masters in History at the University of Hull, was a personal shopper for cyclist Jason Kenny.
She said: “It was a fantastic experience. I have realised how lucky we are to get amazing opportunities like this through the Partnership, which other universities’ students won’t.
“Now we have been and had this fantastic experience, a lot of students will be more aware of the opportunities the Team GB partnership will bring for them.
“The athletes that were coming through were young and a lot of them were at their first games. It was really nice to be a part of it because they were all so excited. We started by assisting personal shoppers and then were able to do athletes ourselves. I was really lucky and was allocated Jason Kenny – I’m a really big fan of him and his wife.
“It was strange because usually, the athletes would take 30/40 minutes but Jason had done it so many times he whizzed through in 10 minutes. He was really lovely and we had a laugh as he went around.”
Having been to the kitting out, Charlotte says she is now more invested in sports she might never have watched before, having seen the athletes up close and shared in their excitement for the games.
She said: “I’ll definitely be watching sports I would have never considered. Especially the archery – we met the team and they were lovely. I’m also more interested in boxing now and also canoeing. “We met the women’s canoe team too. It is their first time at the games and they were absolutely lovely girls. They were so excited to be taking part and it was really lovely to see and it will be great to see them do well.”
Charlotte says her appreciation for the University’s partnership with Team GB has grown since the opportunity.
“I have realised how lucky we are to be the University which is teamed up with Team GB.
“Being down there, I also realised how much Team GB need its partners. It’s not all about us being able to say we are partnered with them, it’s not one sided.”
To have the chance to take part in the kitting-out, students had to apply with a CV and cover letter to the University’s careers service.
Students were then invited for interview before being selected to take part.
Alongside student volunteers, there were 10 members of staff also selected to take part in the volunteering opportunity.
Nicole Bateman, project manager for Team GB at the University of Hull, said: “It was such a great experience to see first-hand what the kitting out event is like for the athletes who are selected to compete for Team GB and what was even more exciting was that our students and staff got to volunteer at the event, helping to support Team GB during their games time preparation.
“The level of detail that the BOA go to, in order to ensure that this is the best experience for athletes is just outstanding. Our role there was to help provide the best service that we could, for the athletes, as they chose their kit for the Minsk 2019 European Games, which I also got to do myself. As the Official University Partner of Team GB we are looking ahead to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and how we can support Team GB in the run up to the summer games, including how we can help at the kitting out event, which is an even bigger operation than the Minsk 2019 Games.
“We are very privileged to be the only university who can offer this experience to both our staff and our students. We also wish all the athletes competing in the Minsk 2019 European Games, the best of luck whilst they’re competing and can’t wait to be involved again next year.”
University of Hull x Team GB
- Partnership spans six years and includes the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games
- Opportunities for CV-boosting work experience, volunteering, joint research projects and possible internships with Britain’s best-loved sports brand¹
- Plus, motivational talks from visiting Team GB speakers and health and wellbeing events run by elite athletes
¹ Places will be limited and exact details will be provided when available. Some opportunities are dependant on your subject.