Staff and students of King's get ready to carry the Olympic flame as part of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay
Selected students and staff from King’s are celebrating today as it was announced that a trio of Torchbearers have been chosen to represent the University as part of Samsung’s nomination programme for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
In addition to its global search for the world’s unsung heroes, Samsung, a presenting partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay teamed up with 31 university partners across the UK last year to create this unique Torchbearer nomination programme. Selecting from staff, students and the community around the university, the programme aimed to find individuals who always go the extra mile and was designed to reflect the core value of the Olympic movement and the rich heritage of each institution – helping Samsung achieve its ambition of making London 2012 Everyone’s Olympic Games.
The three lucky Torchbearers, Dr Ian McFadzean, Abigail Morris and Laura Arowolo will each carry the Olympic Flame through London as it travels on its 70 day journey before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Dr Ian McFadzean
Dr McFadzean (pictured) has been awarded the Teaching Excellence Award for the School of Biomedical Sciences twice; reflecting student feedback that his lectures are some of the clearest and most interesting that they had attended, making the learning experience more enjoyable. In his role as Chair of the School Undergraduate Board of Examiners and Dean of Undergraduate Education, Dr McFadzean has been responsible for the introduction of many innovative developments in teaching.
He commented: ‘To be honest I’m a bit surprised that I’ve been chosen. I thought that they’d sent the email to the wrong person! I struggled to think what I did to stand out; as far as I’m concerned, I’m just doing my job.
‘I’ve always been more involved in teaching and student support – part of being a university lecturer is to get involved with students and that’s what I enjoy doing. It’s an honour to be selected by students.’
After completing her undergraduate degree at King’s in Pharmacology, Abigail (pictured) returned to King’s to study for her PhD in Respiratory Pharmacology. She won the Jelf Medal, one of the highest honours the College can bestow on students, in recognition of her academic achievements and her prominence in social and athletic activities.
Abigail has earned a number of prestigious awards during her time at King’s and continues to immerse herself in various activities and societies. She won an Honorary Life Membership, the Burt Brailsford awards, and even earned Full Blues and Colours. She has also worked for charity projects, including working in an orphanage in Zanzibar.
Abigail commented: ‘I am very excited and feel honoured that I am going to be part of something so special. I feel extremely proud to be representing both King’s College London and Great Britain as an Olympic torch bearer.
‘As a keen sportsperson myself and a big fan of the Olympics, I’m excited at the prospect of the opportunity to see London host the best games ever in my lifetime.’
She is also going to be involved with the Olympics as a Games Maker – a volunteer at the London 2012 Games. She added: ‘My first training session at Wembley Arena was really inspiring. Tanni Grey-Thompson gave a speech which was both emotional and motivational. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new people and showcasing London and the UK at its best. As Seb Coe has said: “it’s the volunteers which make the difference between a good games and a great Games”.’
Commenting on her passion for volunteering, Abigail said: ‘I get a lot of satisfaction out of volunteering and I’ve made some friends for life in the process. Demands from modern society make it so easy to avoid helping people or giving something back to the community but it is so important. There is so much to learn and so much fun to be had through volunteering.’
Laura, a third year Law student, is heavily involved in student media at King’s with positions both in KCL Radio and the student newspaper ROAR! She is an Enterprise Associate within the King’s College London Business Club, is an alto in the Gospel Music Society, and has been a representative on the Law Forum. She also founded the event management society, Impresarios, which raises money for a charity working with blind children in India.
Laura commented: ‘I’m so excited to be a torch bearer! I’ve always loved athletics and dreamed about being involved in the Olympics as a competitor. The opportunity to be part of such a significant occasion as a Londoner gives me such a thrill and I’m really looking forward to it.
‘It feels pretty surreal that I’ll be holding the Olympic torch and parading through London with it; but I feel so honoured and extremely proud to be representing King’s during the relay. The fact that just minutes from where I reside the world’s best athletes will be competing is both exciting and inspiring.’
The university representatives make up part of the 8,000 Torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame across the UK. Starting in Land’s End on Saturday 19 May 2012, the Olympic Flame’s journey will reach more than 1000 cities, towns and villages across the UK, with 95 per cent of the UK population being within one hour’s distance of this historic event. The Olympic Flame will finish its epic route and arrive at the Olympic Stadium in London on Friday 27 July 2012 to mark the start of the Olympic Games. For the full Olympic Torch Relay route, click here and to learn more about some of Samsung’s other successful Torchbearers visit www.samsung.com/uk/london2012