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Work Experience with a difference


Ten Lower Sixth students from St Benedict’s School in Ealing had the work experience of a lifetime, assisting with the management of the 2016 Sailing World Cup from 7th to 12th June in Weymouth. Their week was far from ordinary, with a good dose of real work accountability and responsibility. George Williams summed up: “Beforehand, I thought I would just be making the coffee, but I am actually doing something really important”.

Each St Benedict’s student was involved in one of three groups: IT, beach support and media. Those involved in IT helped the race managers to track each boat’s GPS transmitter under the guidance of Swiss Timing. This data was then used to confirm the final timings and placings of each international sailor competing in the event and the team in IT were able to scientifically analyse the performance of sailors in great detail.

The beach support team’s role was very practical, making sure the athletes were looked after before and after racing. This included matching each launching trolley to the correct boat when the sailors came out of the water – with 200 boats approaching a relatively small slipway in a short space of time this was a good deal harder than might first be imagined.

Finally, the media team, using Twitter and other social media, had the opportunity to help the event’s own press team in promoting the action on the water. Sam Lythgoe stole the show by having one of his media pieces shown live on ITV.

Miss Woodroffe, Director of Sport at St Benedict’s, commented: “I was delighted how all the students embraced the challenge and showed their ability to work well in a team and hold responsibility, whilst working with different professionals. This was the first time some of our students had carried out voluntary work. They showed great tenacity, flexibility and enthusiasm throughout. Our thanks and appreciation must go to the Royal Yachting Association who enabled us to access this opportunity and play a part in a sporting event of such international significance.”
Published: June 28 2016

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