Hackney Community College to play key role in Olympics

A Hackney college has won its bid to be the main training venue for the Olympics’ ‘Games Maker’ volunteers next year.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has selected Hackney Community College (HCC) as the location where most of the 70,000 volunteers will revive their orientation and training.

The Games Makers, who will help facilitate events in roles such as athlete escorts and stewards, will attend either the Shoreditch Campus in Falkirk Street, or the college’s site at Morley Hall, Mare Street.

The 2012 Olympics are just eight months away, and while some Games Maker applicants are still being interviewed, LOCOG has already started sending out provisional offers to volunteers keen to participate.

Training is due to start in February 2012 with the final Games Makers expected to have completed their training by May.

The college’s principal, Ian Ashman, said: “We believe London 2012 offers a great legacy to the local area and winning the contract to be the venue for the volunteer training is one more example of the benefits of the Games to our community.

“Hackney Community College is delighted. It is recognition of the really high quality facilities we have available, as well as being a practical illustration of LOCOG’s commitment to put resources into host borough communities.”

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He added that HCC will encourage the volunteers to visit local restaurants, bars, shops and museums, so that the rest of the borough can benefit financially from the influx of people.

The college has been gearing up for the Olympics in other ways too.

Last week, an Olympics jobs fair was held at the Shoreditch campus. And students studying art, design, media and fashion are busy creating artwork in the hope their pieces will be selected by LOCOG in December to be exhibited in the training venues.

Paulene Carr, head of art, media and fashion at HCC, said: “Both students and staff are inspired and motivated by this opportunity to contribute to what will be a longstanding legacy to the local community.”