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Belfast Campus Welcomes Olympic Torch

Torchbearers Jordan Finlay, left and Holly Hamill, right, at the Belfast campus

The University of Ulster’s Belfast campus today played host to the Olympic flame during the penultimate day of its tour of Northern Ireland.

Staff, students and members of the public cheered as Olympic torchbearer Holly Hamill arrived on the Belfast campus to hand over the torch to Jordan Finlay for the last leg of its Belfast journey.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Communication and Development Professor Alastair Adair, who is also the Provost of the Belfast and Jordanstown campuses, welcomed the arrival of the flame to the campus.

“The University of Ulster has a well established track record in sporting excellence and we are delighted to welcome the Olympic torch relay to its Belfast campus,” he said.

“The University’s High Performance Centre in Jordanstown, which was opened by Lord Coe in November 2008, is home to the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland and is a £13 million world class facility which is helping many Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls prepare for the London 2012 Games.

“Ulster is hugely proud of record of achievement in and its support for a range of sports across all our campuses including rugby,soccer, Gaelic Games, athletics, basketball, golf, motorsport, volleyball, boxing, hockey, cricket, cycling and the martial arts.

“We very much hope the arrival of the Olympic flame will spur our own students and staff and the wider public not just to sporting success but embracing a healthy lifestyle through sport.

“The University is also delighted to be hosting three Paralympics Games training camps for the GB, Russian and Hungarian fencing teams, following on from the successful staging last summer of the Boccia World Cup in Jordanstown.”

At the Belfast campus event, Holly Hamill passed the Olympic torch on to the next bearer, Jordan Finlay, for he next leg of its journey.

In recent days, University of Ulster students and staff have helped carry the Olympic torch around 60 towns and villages across Northern Ireland.

During its first day in the province on June 3, Multimedia Design student Simon Clarke, a member of the Alliance Swimming Club in north Belfast, carried the Olympic torch in Drain’s Bay in Co Antrim.

Dr Lisa Bradley, head of the Department of International Business and a former Commonwealth Games judo silver medallist, was on hand to carry the Olympic torch in Omagh on June 5, while first year Public Relations student, Michaela Hollywood, from Crossgar, carried the torch in Dromore on the same day. And on the Antrim coast leg of the flame's journey, at Ballygally, Caroline Morrison of the Department of Business retail and Financial Services had the honour of carrying the torch.

Dr Deirdre Brennan, a Senior Lecturer in Sport Studies at Jordanstown and Irish Senior Ladies basketball team coach, was among those taking part in the relay in Dundrum, Co Down on the final leg of the torch’s journey through Northern Ireland.

ENDS

More images from the Olympic Torch event at the University of Ulster's Belfast campus can be seen at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/universityofulster/sets/72157630067251072/