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UEL staff share their Olympic and Paralympic experiences with Japanese delegation

SportsDock hall

Staff from Japanese universities visit UEL on Tokyo 2020 fact-finding mission organised by British Council

By Simon Hart

Staff from the University of East London (UEL) shared their Olympic and Paralympic experiences when a Japanese delegation visited the University’s Docklands campus on Monday on a fact-finding mission to help them prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The visitors, a mixture of academics and support staff from Japanese universities, learned about the key role UEL played at the London 2012 Games, including hosting Team USA’s pre-Olympics training camp at SportsDock and receiving a visit from former US First Lady Michele Obama.

The trip was organised by the British Council and included talks on hosting an Olympic training camp, volunteering opportunities, marketing and communications, research and special Paralympic projects.

David Cosford, UEL’s Director of Sport, said, “It was a great opportunity for UEL to showcase our depth and breadth of knowledge gained through our involvement in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

“To have some of the most prestigious universities in Japan visit our campus alongside the British Council is fabulous and will enable UEL to build new and long-lasting and partnerships. 

“As Tokyo begins to build towards the 2020 Games, the knowledge and experience we have at UEL as an institution will no doubt be called upon.

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games transformed our sporting profile, our sporting courses and our sporting reputation and we are without doubt one of the best universities for sport in the UK as a result.

UEL was the Japanese delegation's first stop on a five-day tour of UK universities.

Ayako Towatari, education projects manager for the British Council in Tokyo, said, “Japanese universities have just started to plan what they can do ahead of the Games. 

“As the British Council, we thought that the experiences of universities in the UK could demonstrate what they achieved and what challenges they had so that the Japanese universities can learn. 

“We’re also keen to see new partnerships between British and Japanese universities developed though this visit.