Preparing for the greatest show on earth
One alumnus gives an insight into Olympic fever from a different perspective.
Stephen Castree (BA Sport Recreation Management and French, 1995; MBA International Business, 2006) is the team manager for the Bermudan swim team for the Olympic Games.
It’s Stephen’s responsibility to make sure that athletes have the best preparation prior to competing, managing both the pre games camp and the athletes once in the Olympic village. On top of this he will had the honour of taking part in the opening ceremony.
‘Being a sports enthusiast, it’s a dream come true and an opportunity of a lifetime,’ says Stephen.
‘As a sport science graduate, much of my study as an undergraduate was based around Olympism and this, coupled with being a swim coach, makes this even more of an appealing chance.’
Stephen credits his time at Birmingham as some of the best days of his life remembering trips to Joe's and working for Redbrick among his fondest memories. On top of this, meeting his wife whilst studying on campus is his standout moment.
‘The university allowed me to experience new things and meet new people, my time there gave me grounding in many life skills which have been essential in later life and career.’
After graduating in 1995, Stephen moved to Bermuda in 1998 with his wife Belinda Castree (nee. Cobb) (BSc Sport & Geography, 1997). A keen swimmer, as well as vice president of the University swim team during his time in Birmingham, he took up coaching whilst living in Bermuda.
‘I coached a great group of swimmers from two of the three senior squads on the island, eventually helping a couple of athletes qualify for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, one of the athletes was only 15 years old and will now compete in London this year.’
Stephen carried on to support this athlete, alongside running a successful business, and as a result was asked earlier this year to take the role of team manager for the whole squad, something he describes as an ‘honour’.
Recently Stephen attended the Olympic test event with members of the Bermuda team, something he describes as giving a great ‘flavour’ for the summer ahead; but what are his hopes for the real deal?
‘As far as the team go, we hope to swim personal bests and if we could get at least one athlete into a semi-final that would be fantastic.’
‘On a broader scale the Games can leave a great legacy for Britain; the excitement in the UK is huge and with the redevelopment of Stratford hopefully the legacy can be long lasting in East London.’
To find out more about other alumni who have been working behind the scenes at the London Olympic and Paralympic games, please click here.