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UCLan student’s Olympic book officially launched in Fiji

15 April 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

Lorna captures Oceania athletes’ stories

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student has brought a piece of London 2012 history to life after Olympic officials from the other side of the world commissioned her to edit a book about their countries experiences during the Games.

Publishing student Lorna Hargreaves has edited Oceania; An Odyssey to the Olympic Games which shares the personal experiences of athletes from 15 Pacific countries who overcame social and economic barriers to take part in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The 24-year-old from Southport was commissioned by the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) to bring together a collection of stories written by young journalists from the Reporters’ Academy, a charity which works with under-privileged youngsters, about athletes from Pacific nations who visited the North West to train for the Games.

Lorna managed to edit the book in less than two months and even worked on it on Christmas Day to make sure she met her deadline. It will be officially launched in Fiji at the ONOC General Meeting this month and Lorna is heading to the launch to personally present committee officials with copies of the book.

“I’m really proud of the final result and I’m sure it will be a great asset to my CV.”

She commented: “I’m nervous but also really excited about presenting it to them. It’s taken a lot of work to weave the stories together in a narrative that captures the Olympic experiences of athletes who had to go the extra mile to make it to London.

“They came from islands that have limited facilities and suffer from a lack of funding so the athletes’ stories are unique and inspiring. I’m really proud of the final result and I’m sure it will be a great asset to my CV.”

UCLan was an official training camp for 14 athletes in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games; the athletes from Fiji, Guam, Samoa and Tuvalu spent three weeks in Preston preparing for their events using the University’s multi-million pound sports facilities.

The Reporters’ Academy journalists were given exclusive behind the scenes access at the Olympics to cover the Oceania’s athletes’ progress from their North West training bases through to the Games in London.

“Taking on such a complex and high-profile book was a challenge but Lorna is a great student and rose to that challenge. UCLan Publishing is proud to be involved with this wonderful project.”

Head of UCLan Publishing Debbie Williams said: “This was such a great opportunity for Lorna. Taking on such a complex and high-profile book was a challenge but Lorna is a great student and rose to that challenge. UCLan Publishing is proud to be involved with this wonderful project.”

Oceania; An Odyssey to the Olympic Games was published by UCLan Publishing, the University’s own publishing house, which offers students the chance to work in a real publishing environment to produce commercial books for sale on the open market.

Lorna and other students have recently returned from a University trip to the Artic to gather content for a book and documentary film planned for later this year and the facility is due to publish a book by Jacqueline Wilson in August. UCLan Publishing has already published children’s book Letters to Africa and Lancashire Cooking: Braises, Bakes, Puddings and Cakes: Treats from a Lancashire Oven.