Olympic Games Become Classroom for Belmont Student

Belmont student Colleen Arends attended two women’s soccer matches in London at the 2012 Olympics (Great Britain versus New Zealand and Brazil versus Cameroon). She also has learned to play cricket, watched the Olympic torch relay and met the Great Britain volleyball team and Malayasian cycling team.

A Belmont student will go to tracks, courts and fields in London this summer to study sport performance as it relates to the world’s best athletes as they compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Last week, Colleen Arends left Nashville for London where she is taking the class Olympic Games: Sport Performance, History and Administrations through the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA). Northern Kentucky University clinical exercise scientist Renee Jeffreys is teaching the course, which focuses on training principles and conditioning for elite performance, as well as factors that affect performance in specific sports. Olympic history and what is required to conduct the Olympic Games will also be briefly discussed. The class will visit Olympic venues, various sport governing bodies and sport facilities in and around London.

“The way the course is set up, each of us have to choose a different sport within the Olympics; compile a presentation on anaerobic, vital oxygen intake max for most athletes, average BMI; focus on how athletes train and how their muscle tone and cardiovascular tone are different between sports; and how different sports require different physiological adaptions through the body,” said Arends, a junior from St. Louis, Mo., studying exercise science. She also is required to keep an exercise journal of studios and group exercise classes she visit in London as well as running and walking routes.

Belmont students Ellen Linam and Colleen Arends outside of Olympic Park.

Field trips for the Olympic Games classes include touring Olympic venues, taking cricket lessons, watching the Olympic torch relay and volunteering at the Olympics marathon and a cycling event. The students must purchase tickets on their own to the actual Olympic events.

The class is offered through CCSA, a consortium of more than two dozen universities that do study abroad programs together, for which Belmont is the host institution. Seventeen of the 205 students in the CCSA London program are from Belmont and all are staying at Kings College, said CCSA Public Relations Specialist Joe Woolley. Other courses throughout the five-week program include art history, audio engineering, English, creative writing, theater, psychology, education and criminal justice, he said.

Click here to read Jeffreys’ blog on the Olympic Games class.


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Ranked No. 5 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the seventh consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University consists of approximately 7,300 students who come from every state and more than 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The University’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs, With more than 80 areas of undergraduate study, 22 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon.

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