OCVC Student torchbearer keeps Olympic legacy alive

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A college student, who proudly carried the Olympic torch through Oxfordshire, is helping to keep the legacy of the games alive.

Tom is an inspiring young man who is known for his positive attitude and outlook on life. By working with his tutors he has developed the idea of the torch fundraiser, which demonstrates a fantastic, enterprising spirit.

Tom Rollason, who studies at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College - OCVC - in Banbury, was chosen from thousands to carry the torch through the streets of Bicester in the run-up to London 2012.

The 18-year-old, from Deddington, is now encouraging his fellow college students and staff to have their photograph taken with the torch as a way of raising money for Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the birthplace of the Paralympics.

Tom has first-hand experience of the hospital after undergoing physiotherapy at the spinal unit in 2010. Having been diagnosed with scoliosis at an early age, surgery on his spine had left him unable to walk and paralysed down his left side. The team at Stoke Mandeville helped him to walk again and eventually led to him being able to take part in the famous torch relay.

Tom, who is studying a Foundation for Learning and Life course at OCVC, said: “The team at the spinal unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital were really supportive and helped me a lot after my operation. I hope that by sharing the torch with other students, we can raise money for a really good cause so that other people can receive the same sort of help that I did.

“Taking part in the torch relay was amazing. I was nervous at first but when I got out onto the streets and saw the crowds, and my family, it gave me a real buzz. I was proud to take part in such a big, national event and to be part of the build-up to the games.”

Staff and students at OCVC are being offered the chance to be photographed with the torch in return for a donation of between £2 and £5. The fundraiser will take place at the college’s Broughton Road campus on Thursday, October 11 will all money raised going to Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Sally Dicketts, principal of OCVC, said: “Tom is an inspiring young man who is known for his positive attitude and outlook on life. By working with his tutors he has developed the idea of the torch fundraiser, which demonstrates a fantastic, enterprising spirit. This initiative shows entrepreneurialism in action, something which we are keen to promote and celebrate across the college community.”

-ENDS-

About OCVC

OCVC provides further education training in Oxfordshire for thousands of students who have turned their lives around with OCVC learning.

OCVC offer a wide range of full and part-time courses from entry to degree level, a range of learning for leisure courses, bespoke employer training, and courses which will help the unemployed get back into work. Oxford and Cherwell Valley College have a friendly and supportive environment where students can make friends, enjoy life as they learn, and enhance their employability, confidence and communication skills alongside their qualification.

OCVC's campuses are located in the ancient university city of Oxford and on the edge of a picturesque Cotswolds market town. The specialist centre in Bicester is based in the heart of the not-so-famous “Motorsport Valley”. Small class sizes in a creative and diverse environment make it a good choice for students eschewing university to achieve their HE qualification.

OCVC has campuses in Bicester, Banbury and in Oxford city. Where students will be taught depends on the course they decide to study, but all campuses are well placed. Oxford and Banbury campuses are within walking distance of their historic centres, and Bicester is at the heart of 'Motorsport valley' offering the full motorsports experience to engineering students.

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Anne Wilstead
OCVC
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