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Team GB

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Celebrating the University of Hull’s third anniversary as Official University partner of Team GB - the nation’s most-loved sports team

From Olympic champions on campus to research projects aiming to drive Olympic success, the University of Hull’s exclusive six-year partnership with Team GB has brought an exciting range of opportunities for staff, students and the local community.

The partnership, which was announced in January 2019, includes Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The unprecedented alliance was borne out of a synergy between the University’s ambitions and beliefs and those of Team GB.

Whether it’s in a lecture theatre or on the field, a lab or on the track or in an operating theatre or the ring, the shared belief is that everyone can achieve extraordinary things.

Nicole Jensen, Marketing Project Manager at the University, said: “Three years on and it’s clear the partnership has given students, staff and the local community so many amazing and unique opportunities.

“Students have taken up career-boosting internships with Team GB; working on projects to help them communicate with their partners, ensuring athletes are correctly kitted out for the Olympic Games and working on healthy lifestyle content for a Team GB app.”

The experience has been invaluable for those students who were successful in being offered these work experience roles as part of their studies.

It is an opportunity which no other university in the UK can offer. I have had the privilege of seeing the effect that some of the exclusive Team GB opportunities have had on our local community as well as our staff and students.

Nicole Jensen

"Some of my top highlights of the partnership happened this year: after a tough 18 months we were able to host events on campus such as the I Am Team GB 5k Your Way event which saw over 300 people get up and get active on our campus – with the inspiration of two of Team GB’s talented Tokyo 2020 Olympians.

“Another highlight this year has been to finally welcome our Official Team GB and University of Hull Ambassador and three-time Olympic champion Max Whitlock OBE on to campus where he performed a pommel horse routine for us on stage.

“There have been some amazing talented athletes visit our campus which have been an inspiration for us all. We look forward to what the next three years brings”

Tim Ellerton, Commercial Director said: “We are very proud to partner with the University of Hull. Partner support is crucial to our success and we would like to thank the University of Hull for their ongoing commitment.

A key highlight of our partnership is the role the University has played in inspiring young people, students, and the local community through the power of Team GB and the Olympic Games. We have a shared passion for excellence and respect and know that there is so much more we can do together.

Tim Ellerton

Commercial Director

In the future we hope to reach more students by offering unique work experience opportunities and engaging Team GB athletes on campus.”

Here are just a few of our most memorable moments:

Max Whitlock MBE visits the University of Hull

Ambassador for the University of Hull, triple Olympic champion Max Whitlock MBE visited the campus in 2021 to meet with schools and colleges from the surrounding area.

Steven Hewitt, Head of School and Colleges Engagement at the University, said: “Our morning with Max gave school and college students not only a unique opportunity to spend time with an Olympic legend, but the activities they took part in will enrich their studies and inspire their future choices.”

Later in the day Max also performed an astonishing pommel horse routine to a crowd of over 350 people, including University of Hull staff, students and members of the local community, before sitting down with BBC presenter Kofi Smiles for an in-depth conversation into his career.

I am Team GB – The 5k Your Way event

The I Am Team GB Festival of Sport took place all across the country in the Summer of 2021. During the homecoming weekend after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the nation was encouraged to get up and get active.

Hundreds of community-based local events took place, including at the University of Hull where over 300 people ran, skipped, danced and even roller-bladed their way around the U campus as part of the ‘5k your way’ event.

This exciting community-focussed event was also attended by Team GB athletes and Tokyo 2020 bronze and silver medallists Bryony Page and Bradly Sinden who helped participants warm-up for the 5k races across campus, and cheered runners off the start line.

Bryony said: ‘I was delighted to support ‘I Am Team GB’. Given what has happened in the last year and a half, it was amazing to see so many people getting up and active and having a good time together.’

I Am Team GB event
The 5k Your Way event

Workout Wednesdays

Workout Wednesdays was also co-created with Team GB to help University of Hull staff and students throughout lockdown maintain health, well-being and happiness throughout a difficult period.

Eight Team GB athletes including rower Vicky Thornley and sailor Eilidh McIntyre created a variety of workouts targeting different areas of the body which could be replicated at home. Each video was posted every Wednesday on the University’s social media channels.

Kitting Out

In the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 50 students were given the volunteering opportunity of a lifetime as they helped Team GB athletes receive all their kit for the games.

The event took place at the NEC in Birmingham, where students described their “awe” and feelings of being “starstruck” whilst supporting Team GB athletes during the Kitting Out process.

Miranda Maimela, who studied for a Masters in Data Science, was also offered the opportunity to take part in the Kitting Out event by supporting the data and statistical analysis of Kitting Out.

As an intern, Miranda analysed the individual kit requirements of each Team GB athlete to make sure the correct kit was co-ordinated in advance.

miranda maimela
Miranda Maimela

Kye Whyte welcomed to the University of Hull

Team GB BMX rider Kye Whyte and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist visited the University of Hull in October 2021 for Black History Month. Kye delivered inspirational talks on his unique story which covered his experience at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, family influences and the challenges he has overcome on his journey.

As well as delivering a talk on the theme ‘Proud to be…’ with Hull University Students’ Union, Kye helped Student Futures launch their new BAME Higher Series.

Tokyo 2020 Heritage Project

University of Hull students harnessed their creativity and learned historical research skills to shine a light on the incredible stories of early Olympians. The project helped Team GB create a book which aimed to inspire current Team GB athletes to achieve success at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

University historians Dr Jenny Macleod and Dr Catherine Baker are also involved in creating the athlete heritage book for Team GB winter Olympians at Beijing 2022. The book will be received as a gift by all Team GB Winter Olympians on arrival in Beijing to connect them with Team GB’s values and legacy.

Team GB PhDs

The University of Hull has also announced it will deliver a new trio of PhD research projects in collaboration with Team GB. The research projects will focus on three key themes: sustainability, social impact and athlete transition into retirement after competition – all aligned to the strategic objectives of Team GB.

Dr Dave Richards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Enterprise at the University of Hull, said: “The University of Hull’s partnership with Team GB has provided unique opportunities for students and staff right across our organisation, from teaching and learning to research and knowledge exchange.

“I am delighted that the University can support Team GB through these three exciting PhD projects, which have been shaped around their strategy for the future.”

Special thanks to all those athletes and members of Team GB who have been part of this special partnership since it began:

  • Max Whitlock OBE – Gymnast
  • Kye Whyte – BMX Supercross Rider
  • Bryony Page – Trampoline Gymnast
  • Bradley Sinden – Taekwondo Athlete
  • Anthony Ogogo – Boxer
  • Beth Tweddle – Gymnast
  • Kristian Thomas – Gymnast
  • Samantha Murray – Modern Pentathlete
  • Kat Copeland – Rower
  • Matt Langridge – Rower
  • Tom Ransley – Rower
  • Helen Richardson-Walsh – Women’s Hockey Player
  • Elinor Barker – Cyclist
  • Margaret Adeoye – Sprinter
  • Caitlin McClatchey – Swimmer
  • Dr Paul Ford MBE – Head of Sport Engagement at the British Olympic Association

It was announced on 10th Feb that the University of Hull Team GB partnership has been shortlisted for a Sport Industry Award 2022 in the Partnership Award category.

We are really proud to be recognised amongst some of the sports industry’s most prestigious and well respected organisations. Other nominees in the prestigious award category include Lucozade Sport, McDonald's & UK Football Associations and EA Sports FIFA. The Sports Industry Awards are an annual awards ceremony showcasing and celebrating the immense work in the sports sector, from delivering world-leading events of all formats and scale, using platforms to drive social change or developing creative campaigns that reverberate throughout the industry and beyond.

Nicole Jensen is the Project Manager for the Team GB partnership, this is what she had to say about the announcement:

“I am thrilled that our partnership with Team GB has been recognised for one of the sports industry’s most prestigious awards and I am so proud of what has been delivered to date and it makes me even more excited for the next 3 years of the partnership to see what else we can achieve. Thank you to our partner Team GB for their continued support and also to all the colleagues, students and community members who have been so supportive of the partnership.”

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