Sochi2014: BU opinion and involvement in the Winter Games

A number of Bournemouth University academics are poised to get involved in the Sochi 2014 Winter Games – using their expertise to contribute to stories and add to knowledge.

Dr Bryce Dyer is a Senior Lecturer in Product Design at Bournemouth University and is currently researching the effects of technology in elite sport. He says of the Winter Games:

Competing at the Winter Olympics is arguably about assembling the best athletes to compete against each other. There are always stories of human interest- of those battling against the adversity of just getting to the games in the first place. Some of us will no doubt remember ‘Eddie the Eagle’ or ‘Eric the Eel’. However, the sad thing with tales like these is that whilst many of us may think of them to be a novelty, the problem a lot of the time is that some of these athletes are being unfairly penalised because of their lack of access to equipment and facilities. The Jamaican Bobsleigh team, (immortalised in the film ‘Cool Running’s’) have got their sled this time from Germany, but will only have got hold of it merely weeks before the games start whereas others have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds testing and evaluating theirs. They are not the only ones – Shiva Keshavan is competing for India in the luge event. YouTube footage shows that he has been training extremely hard – at home on steeply banked local open roads on a homemade wheeled luge – hardly the best conditions for a run at the medals. The question we have to ask ourselves is whether technology is ‘part of the game’ or is it just about going athlete to athlete. Is this fair ? Such is the importance of the best equipment, the Sochi games experience will ultimately have been decided for many, long before they’ve even crossed their start line.”

Additionally, Dr Richard Shipway, Associate Dean: International Engagement in the School of Tourism has been asked to join a panel of academic peer reviewers to assist with the assessment of applications for the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme, recently launched by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The main objective of the programme, which operates from the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, is to promote advanced research with a humanities or social science perspective on priority topics identified annually by the IOC. Further information on the 2014-2015 Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme is available on the Olympic Studies Centre web pages at

Dr Shipway’s current research focuses on the impact and legacies of international sports events, distance running, sport tourism, ethnographic research methods, and various aspects of Olympic studies.

Another BU researcher involved in the Winter Games is Rami Mhanna, a PhD student conducting research into mega-sport events. Rami’s research focusses on stakeholders’ perceptions of legacy outcomes of different sports events. This research focusses on The London 2012 Olympic Games, Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014.

All academics are available for press comment and journalists should contact or 01202 963963 to speak to a member of the Press and PR Team.

Olympic gold medallist shooter receives Honorary Doctorate from BU

A world record holder sports shooter, who won gold at the London 2012 Olympics, has received an Honorary Doctorate from Bournemouth University.

Peter Wilson MBE – who grew up in Sherborne, Dorset –  received the accolade during the Business School graduation ceremony.

Peter took a Gold Medal in double trap shooting at the 2012 Olympics, won the World Cup in 2011 and 2012, and holds UK and World records. He was awarded an MBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List for services to shooting.

He said he felt “honoured” to receive the Doctor of Arts award from BU.

“I couldn’t quite believe it, I still can’t quite believe it,” he said.

“It’s a bit like the Olympics all over again – your heart’s racing, your blood’s up and you’re just so excited and really honoured.

“It’s great to come back. My roots are here, my family’s here and so I feel very privileged, very humbled.”

Peter added that he works closely with local schools to promote sports, and believes it’s important for students to stay active and healthy while at university.

“Find a sport that you enjoy playing and just take part – whether it be team or individual,” he said.

“I think it’s actually quite healthy – it gets you out of the house and away from study for that small segment of the week, and gives you a bit of a breather.”

He added that his advice to the graduating students was to push themselves and do everything they could to reach their best.

“It’s a tough world out there, so it’s not easy – you’ve got to find something you love, you’ve got to be passionate about it and you’ve got to push yourself to be the best you can be.

“I spoke about that a little bit to all of the graduates and parents about that one motto which drove me through the Olympics – and that is do everything in your power to get the best possible result out of yourself.”


More than 5,000 graduates from across Bournemouth University were handed their degree certificates in six different ceremonies at the Bournemouth International Centre.

Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University, said: “Bournemouth University takes great pride in our Honorary Graduates.

“We recognise people who have excelled in their chosen field who will act as inspirational role models, both for our graduates and their families at the awards ceremonies and for our whole student body in the coming years.”

BU celebrates success during graduation week


Over 5,000 BU graduates celebrated this week as they were handed their degree certificates during six graduation ceremonies.

The ceremonies, which all took place at the Bournemouth International Centre, saw students collect their awards alongside eight honorary doctorates before celebrating with fellow graduates at a champagne reception.

Former students from all six Schools were reunited with former classmates and lecturers for the first time since completing their studies in May to celebrate the completion of their degrees together.

Receiving their awards alongside BU graduates; the eight honorary doctorates included golf professional and consultant Eddie Bullock, television presenter and anatomist Professor Alice Roberts and Olympic Gold medallist Peter Wilson MBE.

Also honoured were Paralympic Gold medallist Helena Lucas MBE, international sports performance coach David Alred MBE, former Director of Operations at the RNLI Michael Vlasto OBE, former Principal of the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) Dr Kenneth Vall and academic and 7/7 bombing survivor Professor John Tullock.

At the ceremony Professor Alice Roberts (pictured) said, “It’s an absolute delight and an honour to be receiving an honorary doctorate, and I’m really pleased to be here at Bournemouth University. I’ve made friends with a lot of Bournemouth University academics over the years and I’ve interviewed them for all sorts of different programmes on the BBC, and it was really nice to come here and catch up with those colleagues today. And to be here receiving my own doctorate is wonderful.”

Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University, said, “I am delighted to be celebrating the success of our brilliant graduates once again. Graduation is one of the highlights of our university calendar and it fills me with pride to see so many students achieving their goal of attaining a degree. I hope that they will have long and successful careers and I know that they will continue to be valued members of the Bournemouth University community.”

The graduation ceremonies were also streamed online, where they were watched by around 5,500 viewers from 60 different counties.

International events conference to take place at BU


Bournemouth University will welcome over 100 delegates for the International Conference on Events.

The conference, being held at the Executive Business Centre from 3-5 of July, will include three days of presentations, workshops, social events and the 10th Association for Events Management Education (AEME) Forum.

The Forum will take place on the last day of the conference, which also has an Olympic theme with presentations and keynotes throughout the day relevant to ‘mega-events’.

The conference organisers will present a programme relating to academic research and event management education, as well as many high profile industry speakers.

Nick Dodds, MD of Festivals and Events International and chief operating officer of the London 2012 Festival will be giving his thoughts on the event and sharing his experiences.

Nick de Bois, MP and Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group will give the first keynote of the conference titled “The importance and challenges of events policy, practice and education”

Other keynote speakers at the conference include:

Alistair Turner – PR Director, Davis Tanner and Britain for Events Campaign

Jon Weaver – Marketing and Events Manager, Bournemouth Tourism, Bournemouth Borough Council

Professor Stephen Page – School of Tourism, Bournemouth University

Jim Winship – Secretary, Events Industry Forum

As well as keynote speakers there will also be a Professionalisation of the Industry Panel, an Association Panel and several Events in Higher Education Workshops hosted by the Higher Education Academy.

To find out more about the conference visit the website

Team GB Judo star at BU


A member of the Great Britain judo team was at Bournemouth University to inspire more students and staff to take up the sport.

Tom Reed, who is training to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics, joined representatives from British Judo in The Atrium to encourage students to start going to judo sessions, which have recently started at BU.

Tom, who was British Champion in 2012, said: “It is a complex sport, but it is good fun and there are lots of ways to do throws and lots of different moves.

“It’s completely different every time so you can’t really get bored of it.”

He added: “It’s a really safe sport – the first thing you learn is how to land safely and things like that – which helps you in everyday life as well, and it helps in other sports with things like balance, coordination and footwork.”

Active Dorset have given BU £4,000 for new judo mats and the weekly judo sessions are part of the Free Your Fitness project, funded by Sport England to increase student and staff participation in sport.

The judo sessions take place every Sunday in Talbot House from 11.30am to 1.30pm and cost £2 per person.

Chris Payne, Sport Activator for the Free Your Fitness Project at Bournemouth University, said: “British Judo approached us and we are always looking to put new sports and activities on. We thought it would be great to get a couple of new things going.

“Since the Olympics, there has been a lot more interest in Judo, and the aim is to raise awareness.

“It definitely helps to have Tom and British Judo here – it’s great to have that Judo knowledge.

“It is just offering students and staff more opportunities really – you can make friends, have fun and get fit.”

Roxanne Blanks, who is in her first year of a Biological Anthropology degree at BU, has been doing judo for the past four years.

She said: “I love it – it’s such a good way to get fit and it’s fun. It’s cool to know that you can look after yourself.”

Find out more about Free Your Fitness at BU