Date: 20 August 2010
Students and academics from Bournemouth University (BU) have been taking part in this year's Skandia Sail for Gold event.
A group of 15 students from BU’s Tourism School volunteered to work at the world-class event, which was held at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, one of the selected venues for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Students worked in a range of roles at the competition, including acting as PR and media runners, and gained invaluable experience of managing a global sporting event. They also met triple Olympic Gold and Silver medallist sailor Ben Ainslie, who was competing in the regatta.
And for the second year running BU’s Centre for Event and Sport Research and the Market Research Group were invited by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to conduct evaluative research at the regatta. The results of the research will be used to help improve the experience for attendees at next year’s Sail for Gold event, as well as the Olympic Test event in August which aims to ensure all necessary preparations are made ahead of the Olympic Games in 2012.
The regatta, which is the seventh and final event of the 2009/10 edition of the International Sailing Federation Sailing World Cup, welcomed 975 sailors from 57 nations to the sailing venue between 9 to 14 August.
Dr Holly Henderson from BU’s Centre for Event & Sport Research said: “We were delighted to be asked to do the research again for the RYA. It is a really important piece of work to help support the planning of the regatta next year and also the Olympic Test event.
“The opportunity for our students to volunteer at a world-class event such as Skandia Sail for Gold is fantastic, the experience they gain working along side the media, PR and regatta management is phenomenal.”
Alessia Mordini, an Events Management Postgraduate student, said: “The experience was great. I not only had the opportunity to be involved in a great and international event but also I had the opportunity to meet great champions from all over the world. I would definitely participate again.”
Giulia Fregoli, a Tourism Management Postgraduate student, said: “The regatta gave me the opportunity to work as part of a team in a very friendly environment. Seeing all the teams and sailing classes was truly exciting.
“The work was hard, but volunteers were all so kind and co-operative that, at the end of the day, I felt very happy with the time spent at the event.”