As the countdown to the London 2012 Olympics begins in earnest, one former Edge Hill student will be playing a major role in ensuring everything goes according to plan.
John Lunt, who studied Geography at Edge Hill University is the Olympic Competition Manager for Triathlon at the London 2012 Olympics, a position he considers his dream job due to his own longstanding participation in this challenging event.
“Since graduating from Edge Hill I’ve done all kinds, including taking part in my first triathlon in 1984 and starting my own successful sporting events organisation business 22 years ago. When London won the bid, my track record in delivering major triathlons, including being the competition manager for triathlon at Manchester’s 2002 Commonwealth Games, definitely helped to get me noticed,” says John.
“I’ve been in post for two years now and, essentially, my main responsibility is to successfully deliver a very complex sport. To that end, the job involves co-ordinating and managing the whole triathlon event from the sport delivery perspective, and ensuring the triathlon team works and integrates with 35 other functional areas within LOCOG. I’m also required to liaise closely with international federations and governing bodies, so it’s a really interesting role,” he added.
With less than a year to go until this major event begins, John is understandably extremely busy and has just returned from a trip to China. He says that this is nothing, however, to how it will be next summer. “During the actual Olympics it’s going to be a 24-hour-a-day job from 01 July until the triathlon is over on 07 August. With over 35 full-time staff and 700 sport volunteers, international federations, governing bodies, athletes and coaches from around the world it is going to be incredibly busy and, understandably, anything of this size takes a huge amount of planning and co-ordination. Those final five weeks will be all about making all the planning come together.”
Once the games are over, John hopes that the lasting legacy will be the raising of the aspirations of young people so that they want to get involved in sport, as he himself did all those years ago. “I’ve had quite a journey since leaving Edge Hill. Being active got me involved with a very small sport, which grew and grew to become an Olympic sport in 2000 at Sydney and then exploded like never before. So I guess the moral of the story is to grasp opportunities as they arise and try new things. If they fail, at least you will have tried; but if you don’t, then you will simply never know.”