I’ve been selected to be part of a team who will organise the next Olympic games in the UK. Fantastic, I thought, but what do I know of how to do that – then again, perhaps I do know.
The first meeting was a hall full of strangers but I had excavated in Orkney with Americans, Canadians and Serbians and have had no problem embracing different cultures.
My first job was to present my ideas to people of all ages who would be involved at every level from building the village to collecting the tennis balls. I transferred skills learned from a presentation on wind farms to this task. My previous coursework at Bradford had also taught me how to research and extract relevant information. Other people had some great ideas and it was fun to work as part of a team to develop the perfect Olympic experience. It also fell to me to go out into the community and talk to primary school children so I had to express ideas at a level they could understand. This skill came from giving tours to the public on the sites I have dug. Our ideas and findings were submitted to the Olympic directors in a standard format. Hoorah, I’d done this too when writing up site reports. It’s surprising how professional you learn to be, and by that I mean learning to work harmoniously with everybody.
The work took us to live near the Olympic HQ in Switzerland where two of us rented a small flat for our stay. I was so pleased I had learned to look after myself at University. Through living in halls I had learned to respect the way others live. Unexpectedly, my flat mate, Tom introduced me to ice hockey and the amazing community spirit present at matches. Who would have guessed I’d do that? It didn’t take long before we discovered the local Swiss club and although we did not skate we went to holler our fervent support each week. It reminded us of the value of supporting a team and sticking together when times were rough. It also made me appreciate the incredible hard work and passion Olympic competitors put into their sport.
Like in archaeology, the skills I needed to complete the Olympic project were varied and far reaching. I had learned how to utilise the expertise of others where necessary, to research things I knew little about and try something new. Through listening to others and offering constructive ideas of my own, we reached our goal together. Like our student union we were dedicated to bringing out the best in our participants and ourselves and to give everyone an experience to remember.
Most of all, Bradford University taught me Better Never Stops. Go Team GB!