Olympic hosts visit Birmingham for advice on welcoming elite athletes

Visitors from Keio University, in Tokyo, came to Birmingham to learn more about how to host elite athletes – ahead of welcoming Team GB to Japan for the 2020 Olympic Games.

The University of Birmingham hosted the Jamaican team for its pre-Games camp ahead of the London Olympics in 2012 – welcoming the world’s fastest man, sprinter Usain Bolt and his teammates to its Edgbaston campus.

Now, the Japanese university is making plans to host Team GB athletes ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and the delegates made a special trip to the University of Birmingham to learn how its staff and students made the Jamaican team welcome.

20161118_135434The group met a number of staff from the University’s School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences during their visit, including Olympic legacy expert Dr Jonathan Grix and Head of Performance & Coaching Alex Taylor.

Manager, Office for Global Initiatives, at Keio University Ms Tomo Sato said: “We have been impressed by the range of experience at the University of Birmingham and it is clear that people here are very proud of what they achieved with the Jamaican Olympic team in 2012.

“We now have to put together a plan ahead of welcoming Team GB to Tokyo in 2020 and, inspired by what we have learned here today, we hope to deliver an experience for British athletes that will be just as successful as what the University of Birmingham delivered for the Jamaicans.”

Keio University will host a number of Team GB athletes from a range of sports, including hockey, gymnastics, boxing, fencing, rugby and martial arts.

Birmingham staff covered a range of key areas related to hosting elite athletes, including profile and reputation, student volunteering, logistics, health and medical support. They also gave the guests a tour of the campus and sports facilities.

University of Birmingham Director of International Relations Peter Clack said: “As a global civic university in the 21st century, our responsibilities include contributing to the enrichment of the life of our home city and the wider world.

“We are delighted to share our experiences of hosting elite athletes with our guests from Keio University. We hope that their time spent at the University of Birmingham helps them to successfully host Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics.”

ENDS 

Notes to Editors

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, with its work bringing people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.. 

For more information or interviews, please contact: Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or  +44 (0)782 783 2312 or t.moran@bham.ac.uk