Students and staff support Games fever

A group of 164 London Met students are on the front-line of daily Olympic and Paralympic security.

A group of 164 London Met students are on the front-line of daily Olympic and Paralympic security.

They join many of the University’s academics and support staff who have also signed up as volunteers and officials for the world’s biggest sporting festival.

The students were trained and interviewed at London Met in the lead-up to the Games, receiving a level-2 door supervision qualification and paid work throughout the Olympic period.

It’s hoped the students will not only help satisfy the security needs of the Games but also fill a national skills gap in security-qualified staff.

Banking and Finance student Hetna Patel said she and her London Met colleagues were carrying out security scanning and checks of spectators and their bags.

"It’s been amazing to be a part of something that means so much to our city," she said. "I worked at the opening ceremony, everyone was buzzing and we got to see the fireworks. I got involved because I get to earn a bit of money and to be part of a historic occasion."

Janki Amin, London Met’s employment service coordinator said "the qualification not only enables the students to work at the Games but also opens doors to further employment opportunities beyond the event."

London Met Employment Service was approached by Bridging the GAP, an initiative aimed at engaging hundreds of higher education and further education students across the UK in paid security work at the Games.

One of our staff members Alistair Dyer, the University’s income team leader, made his official application to be a volunteer 18 months ago. He says that he made his decision to help the city achieve something exceptional back in 2005.

"I remember the day it was announced that we’d be hosting the Olympics and I thought, well that’s good news," he recalled.

"But the next day the bombs went off in the tube and I thought, well now it’s time something really special happened for London."

Organisers have posted Alistair at one of the Games’ most exciting venues, the temporary volleyball centre on Horse Guards Parade.

"There’s early starts and late finishes, but it’s been great fun...I watched the GB women play twice the other day and the atmosphere was just stomping.

And from London Met’s outbound contact team, Anthony Babajee is volunteering as a driver, transporting VIP and officials across the city.

"It’s been amazing to be involved in something for which the eyes of the world are on London," he said.

Alistair and Anthony join the likes of former European weightlifting champion and London Met lecturer Heather Allison who has been recruited as a weightlifting competition official.

For more pics, head to the official London Met Facebook page.