College proud to be part of the Commonwealth Games

31st August 2022

Students and staff from Stratford-upon-Avon College and partner college Solihull College & University Centre are proud to have been involved in the Commonwealth Games 2022.

With both colleges being based in the West Midlands, the games have brought a range of amazing opportunities to the area that both staff and students have been honoured to be a part of.

From Stratford-upon-Avon College, students Lewis Hawkins and Luke Simpson were employed at the games due to their Digital Media training. Luke obtained a position in the Video Playback department for the Rugby Seven’s at the Coventry Building Society Arena and Lewis was assigned the position of Floor Manager for the Triathlon at Sutton Coldfield Park.

Lewis (pictured left) and Luke (pictured right) both got roles using their Digital Media Production skills

Furthermore, Ash Ward, also one of the College’s Digital Media Production students, worked as a Logger. Logging is record keeping for broadcasts and Ash was employed as a Freelance Logger to keep track of key highlights for the Netball Finals and Semi-finals, Women’s High Jump and Men’s Triple Jump. They kept track of highlights, world records and personal bests of the athletes.

Ash commented on what they enjoyed most about the experience: “My favourite thing was experiencing first-hand what its actually like to be a freelancer in the industry. The transferable skills you pick up on the job will stay with you for life. Being in a fast-paced environment about problem solving and working individually but also collectively as a team simultaneously was indescribable. It was phenomenal being fresh out of college working alongside established professionals and university leavers.”

Ash notes how their college experience prepared them for the role: “The combination of collaborative and individual assignments definitely prepared me to be able to have the interpersonal skills to switch between different work styles. It also was easy to see how my learning was now applicable to a broadcasting work environment.”

Ash was delighted to use the skills they learnt at College for this role

One of the College’s Performance & Production Arts lecturers, Philip Watson-Smith, took part volunteering as an Umpire Chair Team Member. He was ecstatic to be involved. He commented: “Having grown up in Birmingham and Solihull, I felt like this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to give something back to the community and also be part of an amazing experience. Birmingham 2022 will only happen once and to be part of the Commonwealth Collective has been inspiring. Birmingham is absolutely buzzing and it’s amazing to be part of something where Birmingham shows what an amazing city it really is.”

Phil had a great time working as an Umpire Chair Team Member

At Stratford’s partner College in Solihull, students and staff were also getting involved.

Angel Garvey-Hendrickson, 19 from Olton, became part of Birmingham’s history after performing at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies alongside some of the West Midland’s finest talent.

She performed as a member of a dance collective called Critical Mass – a project funded by the Spirit of 2012 charity to encourage the legacy of London 2012. As a member, Angel also performed at the opening of the Birmingham 2022 Festival in March, the Birmingham International Dance Festival in June, and at live sites around Birmingham during the Games.

Angel performed as part of a dance collective called Critical Mass

In addition, through his voluntary work as an Event Director for Park Run in Solihull, College Admin Assistant, Andrew Lucas, was selected as a baton bearer for The Queen’s Baton Relay and carried the baton onto the stage at Jubilee Gardens.

Andrew also spent three weeks of his annual leave to volunteer as a Commonwealth Games Assistant for Team Samoa, ensuring all their needs were met and that they had a rewarding time in Birmingham throughout their stay.

Andy Batonbearer
Andrew Lucas was selected to carry the baton onto the stage at Jubilee Gardens Picture credit: Birmingham Live

Andrew comments: “It was a rewarding experience and I enjoy getting involved in as many volunteering opportunities as I can. I was just one person chosen out of the many wonderful people who do amazing things and volunteer their time to serve their communities, there was nothing special about me.”

We are incredibly proud of all our staff and students who have taken part!