We're managed to recruit some fantastic supporters and spokespeople for Universities Week 2012 to help showcase the positive impact that universities have made to sport in the UK.
You can see who has supported us with a quote below or visit our 'Talking Heads' page here to see whose pledged their support by video
'I’m delighted that Universities Week 2012 will be celebrating the Higher Education sector’s engagement with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Games is a chance for our nation to showcase our talents, skills, culture and sporting abilities. The Higher Education sector has a vital and diverse role to play in this. One of the aims of London 2012 is the delivery of lasting partnerships, so it is great to see organisations coming together to showcase the abilities and achievements of the UK’s students and academic community to the world.'
Seb Coe, 1500m Olympic gold medallist (Moscow 1980) and Chairman of the London Organising Committe for the Olympic Games (LOCOG).
'This year's Universities Week is a fantastic way of celebrating higher education and the impact it has had on the sporting industry, whether through innovative sports research or by offering support to young athletes juggling their academic studies with their training. In the run up to the 2012 Olympics, I'm thrilled to support such a worthy campaign and wish the University of Sheffield the very best for the Week.'
Jessica Ennis, heptathlete and University of Sheffield graduate.
'Universities Week is a great way to show how the whole community benefits from higher education in the UK, and not just the staff and students who work and study there. Kingston provided a terrific environment for developing life skills as well as my team and sporting skills. Raising awareness of the role that higher education plays can only be a positive thing and I’m delighted to support this year’s campaign. I wish Kingston the very best with their activities planned for the week.'
Lawrence Dallaglio OBE, former England rugby player and alumni of Kingston University.
‘Universities are critical in my Olympic preparation and have been essential in my swimming success to date. The sports science support I receive and the world class facilities I train in are all developed and hosted at Universities. I am proud to support Universities Week as universities have simplyalways supported me in my sporting journey on a number of levels.’
Rebecca Adlington, freestyle swimmer and double Olympic Gold medallist in 400m and 800m (Beijing 2008).
'Universities encompass everything that is good about sport from the elite to the not-so-good, from the committed practioner to the occasional participant, from the solitary competitor to the team junkie. Whether the drink afterwards is alcoholic or isotonic, it's about shared experiences that stay with you forever, and Universities Week will offer everyone a chance to get a glimpse of how much fun, and how stimulating, the sport in their further education can be.'
John Inverdale, broadcaster, 2008 Olympic commentator and President of British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS)
'I am happy to show my support for Universities week, which is a great opportunity to showcase the importance higher education has on the wider community and the country as a whole. I wish all the institutions taking part every success in preparing for and staging their various events that will no doubt highlight the enormous benefits of attending university.'
Christine Ohuruogu MBE, 400m Olympic gold medallist (Beijing 2008), Commonwealth champion and alumni of University College, London.
'The Olympics are an opportunity to create confidence at home and abroad in Britain’s multiple strengths. Those strengths grow from the capabilities of our universities and their graduates who will continue to shape and creates Britain’s future.'
Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority.
'I am a great fan of student sport and the role that Universities play in the sporting landscape. Whether participating for health and fun (as I did back in the day in UMIST, Manchester) or aspiring to maximise potential talent, the environment and life-timing for University sport makes it critical to many athletes’ development. I am fortunate to be based on a University campus – Loughborough, home to British Triathlon – so I get to see the contribution that this University makes to sport and young people every day.'
Zara Hyde Peters, Chief Executive, British Triathlon.
'Taking part in sport and helping to organise sport whilst studying at university gave me so many opportunities and was an excellent grounding in managing so many different aspects of my life effectively. I was then able to take this into business where the discipline and competitive instinct that sport gave me, helped to build a successful business career.'
Alan Pascoe MBE, 4x400m relay Olympic silver medallist (Munich 1972).
'Universities play a vital role both in providing technical support and in inspiring people to go on to be the best that they can. Recently I've spent time at the Southampton University wind tunnel concentrating on finding marginal time gains by analysing my cycling position. This will help me to reduce the effect of wind resistance, improve my overall time in a race and hopefully win a Gold medal for Great Britain during the London 2012 Olympics.'
Dani King, National, European and World Team Pursuit Cycling Champion and currently studying with The Open University for a Business Studies degree.
'World leading teaching and research are only a part of the contributions that our universities make to the UK. Not many will realise that our universities are actively supporting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. From the Cultural Olympiad and the hosting of teams from around the world, to the design of medals and an army of student volunteers, our universities are working hard to ensure that the 2012 games will be outstanding in every way.'
Loyd Grossman, TV presenter and Chairman of The Heritage Alliance, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
'Universities Week is a great showcase for British Universities, demonstrating the many ways in which talent can be nutured and developed through our higher education system. With the Olympics coming to London in 2012, this year's focus on sporting acheivement is particularly apt - whether it's in directly training our medal contenders or in ground-breaking sports science research. Universities Week is a fantastic initiative and it has my full support.'
Heidi Alexander, Member of Parliament for Lewisham East
'I am delighted to show my support for Universities Week, which this year brings together two of my greatest passions – sport and education. It was during my time at University as an undergraduate that I really embraced all my sporting obsessions from boxing to canoeing. My hard work, determination paid off and I was fortunate enough to represent the Republic of Ireland in the World Championships. I am still enjoying all that Universities have to offer, having been recently appointed as a Visiting Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University. I am a strong advocate of higher education and in my new role here I am enjoying playing a part in inspiring and educating young people to be the best that they can be.'
Donal MacIntyre, TV presenter, investigative journalist and visiting Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University
'I’m supporting Universities Week 2012 because sport is a great motivator of people and universities provide a fantastic platform for people to realise their abilities, not just academically but also on the sports field. As an Olympic medallist, I know the sort of dedication that an athlete needs and to have access to the first-class support and world-class facilities at their place of study is a great thing and something we should celebrate.'
Kriss Akabusi MBE, TV presenter, motivational speaker and 4x400m relay Olympic silver medalist (Los Angeles 1984)
'I am delighted to support Universities Week, which celebrates the impact universities have on the UK. People must be made aware of the importance of universities to our cities, which is why I liaise as much as I can with the people of Portsmouth in my role as Chancellor.'
Sheila Hancock, Actress and Chancellor, University of Portsmouth