Kwantlen’s Olympic partnership trades parking for student benefits

October 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Kwantlen’s newest Olympic partnership with the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games is more than just business.

As the Olympic committee gains extra parking space at all Kwantlen campuses during the Olympics, Kwantlen students will be reaping the benefits as they are exposed to a variety of opportunities.

Mary Jane Stenberg, executive director of external affairs at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, has been working on the project with staff for several years, and is excited to get students involved with the Olympics. Working closely with VANOC, Stenberg has seen her Olympic project grow vastly since sponsorship was first suggested.

Details of how the partnership began remain foggy, as the project passed through the hands of Kwantlen’s former vice-president David Ross several years ago.

“The initial [suggestion] was made from VANOC to Kwantlen,” said Stenberg.

As part of the Kwantlen-VANOC sponsorship students will gain direct access to the Vancouver Olympic Games through volunteer positions.

“We have already had recruitments for any kind of volunteer opportunity you can imagine,” said Stenberg. “These have been available to all students at all campuses”.

Volunteer opportunities range from venue-managing to media relations as well as participating in opening and closing ceremonies.

“They are still looking for volunteers,” said Stenberg. “What we ask them [students] to do is go through the VANOC website”

Aside from volunteer opportunities, Kwantlen students will also have the possibility to purchase hard-to-find Olympic event tickets.

As a sponsor for the 2010 Games Kwantlen was allowed to purchase a limited amount of Olympic tickets to sell to their students. Within the next month, students will be able to access a website specially designed for the purchase of tickets. Their names will then be entered in a lottery.

“Student will have five days to come in and purchase the tickets,” said Stenberg, “or we will go to the next name on the list.”

As part of the Olympic Contributor agreement, Kwantlen was also allowed to pick a person to be the torchbearer on the Langley leg of the Olympic torch run.

After students and staff entered an online questionnaire early last year, Kwantlen has announced Suzanne ten Haaf, a business student, will be representing Kwantlen on Feb. 8, on the 102nd day of the Olympic Torch Relay Route.