Student and staff performers AND our resident Olympian at the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony!
Posted 28th July 2012
The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony: an amazing spectacle for viewers across the world.
Hackney Community College students and staff played important roles in the stadium on the night. Nine students and two staff performed in the show; Head of Department Paul Lazarus had the role of head chaperone, and made sure everyone was in the right pace at the right time, and our own Olympian Brian Brinkley proudly took the stage alongside other GB Olympians.
After months of dedication and a gruelling rehearsal schedule, all the effort paid off with the show of a lifetime.
The students, all aged 16-18, were performing arts and circus skills students at the college in Shoreditch, East London. Adele Smith, performing arts lecturer and administrator Ndenko Asong accompanied the students through this momentous journey. You can read about how it all came about, here
The HCC squad made lots of new friends during the long days of rehearsals.
Precious Omonswa aged 18 sees his involvement in the ceremony as the start of something big – a springboard to an exciting future in performing arts. Kim Allen aged 16 joined HCC because of the circus skills course. After this experience she wants to progress to a circus skills degree and tour the world.
Head of Leisure, Arts, Sports and Tourism Paul Lazarus (pictured left of the students at the top of this news story) was awarded the role of head chaperone in the months of preparation and on the night – looking out for other students as well as his own ‘squad’. He accompanied the students to every rehearsal and helped to keep their spirits high during the demanding period leading up to the big night.
Two-time Olympian and swimming medalist Brian Brinkley MBE is a senior lecturer at Hackney Community College. He also supported the performers on their journey to the ceremony but on the night had his own special part to play. He joined other GB Olympians on the stage for a proud acknowledgement of the part they’ve played in the country’s sporting success.
GB swimmer and two-time Olympian Brian Brinkley is far right
Brian swam with the GB team in the 1972 Munich Games and 1976 Montreal Games – for which he was team captain and brought home a medal. In the two Olympics he competed in 11 events, and in his career he won 49 national titles. He also coached the British national team 1992-2002. Alongside his main role at the college, he regularly takes part in events to inspire and motivate pupils from visiting schools.
HCC’s Brian Brinkley MBE with a pupil from St Monica’s school at this year’s Legacy Champions event at the college
The performance was also watched at close quarters by 28 Hackney Community College students who were awarded places in the standing area of the field – described as the ‘mosh pit’.
Hackney Community College has worked hard to make sure that students and other local people have made the most of the opportunituies of the Games through taking part, attending events, volunteering and paid work. The college is also working with partners to make sure of a legacy of education and training opportunities and sustainable jobs for local people.