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Durham University awaits London 2012 Olympic Torch

15 June 2012

The Olympic Torch is in the North East this weekend, and Durham University are preparing for a memorable two days.

Durham University_Torchbearers

Tomorrow, the University's Racecourse will host the evening celebration, during which musicians and performers will entertain the crowds as they await the Torch's 6.50pm arrival.

The following day, the flame will make its way south towards Middlesbrough, and amongst the Torchbearers will be three Durham University students, all of whom look to have a bright future in their chosen sport.

England under-21 hockey player Steph Elliott (pictured centre) and fencer Kira Roberts (right) are both full time students at the University, while rower Dr Naomi Hoogesteger - (left) who was part of the crew that broke the Atlantic crossing world record last year - both studies and teaches at the institution.

Professor Chris Higgins, the University's Vice Chancellor, says: "We are very honoured to welcome the Olympic Flame to our Racecourse.

I feel it is fitting that this symbol of sport and teamwork should come to the University where we pride ourselves on not only offering our students an excellent academic degree, but also ensuring that they develop their skills in teamwork through sport, the arts and volunteering."

Of the three student Torchbearers, he says: "They are all rising international sportswomen, and are shining examples of the quality of sport at Durham University and the opportunities available to our students alongside their degrees."

Dr Hoogesteger, who plans to attempt another world record when she canoes down the Amazon in 2014, feels strongly that the backing of the University has helped her achieve success in her sport.

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures teacher explains: "Although I am a firm believer that true inspiration to achieve must come from within, the support that I have received during my time at Durham University, and in particular my from academic department and college, is unparalleled."

She continues: "Along the various sporting paths that I have taken, I have come to realise that having such a rock to rely upon is of the utmost importance in order to achieve ambitions and dreams."

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