Sunderland students keep Olympics alive

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LONDON 2012 might have been and gone, but Olympic fever has returned to the University of Sunderland.

A group of students have competed in a specially organised alternative version of the sporting games to keep alive the Olympic Legacy.

Organised by Dr Wendy Thorley, the Mini-Olympics was held at the Silksworth Sports Complex and created as a thank you to their students on the Childhood Studies programme, who have been fund-raising for North East children’s charities.

About 250 students took part and were split into five different nations to compete in events including a relay, synchronised swimming on land, the javelin and basketball.

Dr Thorley, said: “It was quite a challenge trying to be inventive for our mini-Olympics event, but the enthusiasm shown by the students to be part of such a fun day has been impressive.

“This event was about showing our appreciation for the commitment the students have shown this year, both for our fund-raising projects and getting involved with their programme.

“It is good fun to continue the Olympic legacy.

“It also provided an opportunity for students to meet up with others on the course, who they may have never met and are from different year groups. They can share information about the programme, what works best, and meet people in other year groups who have already been through their degree programme and are about to graduate.”

The fund-raising initiatives were introduced in 2010 as part of the Childhood Studies programme to help provide opportunities and activities for students in the community while studying towards a career with children.

The events raise between £1,500 to £2,000 annually and this year students have raised more than £800 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, £375 for the Royal Victoria Infirmary Great North Children’s Hospital and £375 for the Children’s Society.