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Golden memories from Olympics

A LEGACY of incredible Olympic and Paralympic memories is inspiring students and staff at Havering College.

More than 500 young people, their tutors and support staff are lucky enough to be able to say ‘I was there’ after receiving free tickets to the Games under the Ticketshare scheme for colleges and schools.

With Britain's glorious summer of sport having finally drawn to a close, the college is reflecting on its contribution to London 2012.

Whether it has been the opportunity to witness unforgettable world class sport or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to entertain thousands of spectators at the Olympic venue, Havering College has enjoyed an amazing Games.

 Havering College show Inspiration was performed at the Olympic Park  Unforgettable scenes in the Olympic Stadium
 Students capture the excitement on the track  Havering College Student Union explore the Olympic Park

Talented performers from the college’s Olympic-themed show Inspiration staged a mini-version of the production on the Olympic Park Bandstand during the Paralympics.

Inspiration director/producer Peter Dayson, who lectures in Music at Havering College of Further and Higher Education, said: “The opportunity for our students, staff, technicians and partners from special needs schools to collaborate on a mini production in such a short space of time was something I will never forget.

“On that particular day there were over 400,000 people in the Park, and we were blessed with brilliant weather. After the performance, one of our special needs students, turned to her support carer and said it was the best day of her life.”

LOCOG also invited college musicians to entertain visitors attending the showjumping competitions in Greenwich Park.

 Havering College students performed at Greenwich Park College staff capture the Olympic spirit 

Other students are savouring their own special moments after receiving tickets to sporting events.

Vicky Luxford, 18, from Dagenham, and classmates from the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Public Services course she recently completed, watched Montenegro take on France at Handball.

She said: “The atmosphere was just amazing. We were in the Park for the rest of the day watching the massive live screens. I absolutely loved it.”

Surat Pitchpichet, 17, from Bow, who is on an ESOL course, experienced the incredible buzz of the Olympic Stadium.

Surat said: “I went to the Paralympic Athletics. I really enjoyed it. I saw the running and the long jump. It was a good day.”

Jade Davies, 23, from Gidea Park, who is on an adult learning Maths course, witnessed the GB women’s Hockey team beat Belgium.

Jade said: “It was exciting and something I will never forget. It was fantastic to go with the college – I definitely wouldn’t have been able to go to the Games otherwise.”

BTEC Music Performance student Sam Loughlin, 17, from Romford, said: “I am really thankful that the college gave us tickets for the Volleyball at Earls Court. The atmosphere was great.”

For the millions of visitors who have strolled through the Olympic Park this summer, the landscaping with its wild flower meadows has been truly impressive.

Havering College is proud to have played a part in the spectacular display having earlier worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority ((ODA) on a custom designed apprenticeship in Horticulture and Soft Landscaping/Hard Landscaping for the creation of the Park.

The college’s Olympic journey has also included success for its students in Film Nation Shorts - a London 2012 Cultural Olympiad competition designed to engage young people in the craft of film making and identify new talent.

Another group of students had the unforgettable experience of making two commercial style films on apprenticeships for the ODA. Their project was recognised with a Silver award at the Podium Awards which celebrated the vital role colleges and universities across the UK played in delivering the London 2012 Games.

Havering College principal Maria Thompson said: “We have just come to the end of six unforgettable weeks of sport and everyone will have their own golden memories. The college is proud that so many of our students were able to be a part of the Games in some way.

“Our legacy will be in continuing to build on the new friendships and partnerships made as a result of London 2012.”