When Bath celebrates the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay on Tuesday 22 May, one of our students will be proud to have played a part in making it happen.
Simon Priestley, a 21-year-old Coach Education & Sports Development student, is currently on placement at Bath & North East Somerset Council where he is part of the team that is organising the city’s celebrations of this unique event.
“Working here really gives you a sense that people are looking forward to the Torch Relay, the Olympics and Paralympics.”
Simon is working on the marketing and communications of the Olympic Torch Relay when it come to Bath as well as the Paralympic flame which will come to the city later this summer, which were marked by launch events at the Roman Baths and the University. He’s also part of the team behind the World Record attempt to form the largest ‘Human Olympic Rings’, hoping to attract 5,000 to form the five Olympic rings in Bath’s Royal Victoria Park, overlooking the Royal Crescent.
“I’ve also been involved in promoting other Olympic Legacy programmes such as the Gold Challenge, a charity challenge that encourages people to try out different Olympic and Paralympic sports, completing 2012 km or doing 2012 minutes of exercise, all to raise money for charity.”
“The Torch Relay and World Record Attempt are going to be huge highlights in my year on placement.”
“It’s fantastic to be at the heart of the city’s celebrations. Bath has become my home over the last three years and it’s great to help put something on that residents really appreciate and enjoy.”
Having played a part in the build-up to the Games, Simon is also going to be experiencing the Olympics first hand, volunteering at the rowing events at Eton Dorney.
I wanted to get as close to the Games as possible! I’ll still be trying to go see some events rather than working at them, but, and it sounds clichéd, this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I can say I helped put on the greatest show on earth!”
“I’m really looking forward to just being in an ‘Olympic environment’ and to hopefully seeing a British crowd cheer our rowers on to victory at Eton Dorney.”
When Simon graduates he will be applying for a career in the Royal Navy. “It was really inspiring to see the flame arriving from Greece at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall and being flown to the Torch Relay start point by one of the Naval Air Squadrons.
“My aspiration is to join the Royal Navy, however throughout my placement I’ve been in a great place to learn and watch people who are experienced in event organisation, marketing and communications I’ve particularly enjoyed working in these areas so it’s good to know that there are areas in the civilian world I’d also be interested in getting a job in, hopefully in the sporting world somewhere.”