August 2022

Digital squad of students support Team Scotland to tell Commonwealth Games story

By Melanie Hall

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Students from University College Birmingham are working as the official behind-the-scenes digital squad to tell Team Scotland’s 2022 Commonwealth Games story.    

Nine social media whizzes from across a range of courses from the Business School were chosen for the coveted volunteer digital roles in a team put together in the run up to the event to support Team Scotland’s media officers at the Games. 

Team Scotland is currently being hosted by the University, which has been rebranded Scotland House for the Games as a ‘home from home’ for the team’s 300+ athletes, supporters and staff. 

"They have been a fantastic addition to our team, and we really appreciate their hard work"

Gillian Cooke Deputy Head of Media and Digital Media Manager for Team Scotland

Richard Behan, Senior Lecturer and Digital Team Co-ordinator, said the student digital squad – based in the Team Scotland media suite at Summer Row – was the ‘engine room’ for telling the team’s story. 

“The students have a variety of roles during the Games, but their main role is to liaise with media officers at the competition venues and translate what happens into engaging content to disseminate across Team Scotland’s social media channels and website,” said Richard. 

“It’s such a fantastic opportunity for the students and I am so happy they have been able to get involved in what is an amazing time for both the University and city.

“The experience they will gain over the Games is unique and will stand them in good stead for the future, especially when applying for graduate jobs.” 

The students have been working in a wide range of roles for the digital team

To be considered for the digital roles – which include roving mobile content gatherer, graphics creator, videographer, Instagram and TikTok lead, website editor and photography coordinator – students had to submit a video pitch on why they wanted the opportunity, selling themselves in 60 seconds.   

One of those successful in their pitch was Global Meetings and Events Management MSc student Olivia Ucendo from Spain, who is producing eye-catching TikToks for the team. 

Olivia, who has almost 1,700 followers on Instagram herself, said: “It’s amazing how much work is behind every tweet and Instagram post.

“I am learning a lot. I am sure that this experience will be a differentiating element in my CV.”

The team are based in the Team Scotland media suite in Summer Row

Richard said the opportunity came about thanks to a teaching and learning week at the start of the last academic year.  

“We were told about Team Scotland being based at the University and how they wanted to involve our students in the Commonwealth Games while they are based at the University,” he said.  

“The digital media team had a number of opportunities available, and I was keen to get students involved as it would be an amazing experience for them to work with a national sporting body at one of the biggest multi-sport events in the world.

The team are working with Scottish former athlete Gillian Cooke

“The students were given media accreditation by Team Scotland which meant they could access all the sporting events during the Games and were given full kit so they could represent Team Scotland throughout the Games.

“They’ve now seen first-hand the buzz and gravity of the Games and how they are playing their own individual part in this historic event, which is really pleasing to see.” 

Scottish former track and field athlete and bobsledder Gillian Cooke, now Deputy Head of Media and Digital Media Manager for Team Scotland, said: “The students’ role with the Commonwealth Games is invaluable.

“They are the hub of our media operations, making sure the content our media officers and photographers collect over the Games is organised and sent to the right people at the right time to ensure our communications and reporting of the Games is on point.

“They have been a fantastic addition to our team, and we really appreciate their hard work.”

Members of the Team Scotland digital team themselves represent the UK, India, Spain, Czech Republic and Portugal.

Digital squad for Team Scotland, Commonwealth Games 2022 

Our University is hosting Team Scotland throughout the Games

Commonwealth Games: How we're getting involved

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is the largest sporting event to ever be held in the Midlands and pledges to attract more than one million spectators to the city.   

The multi-sport event will see around 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories compete in 19 sports across 15 competition venues.

Para sports are fully integrated into the competition programme and, for the first time in Games history, there will be more medal events for women than men.  

University College Birmingham, which is accredited by the University of Warwick and won University of the Year at the national Whatuni Student Choice Awards, is also the headquarters for up to 300 Team Scotland athletes and support staff during the Games.  

Becoming 'Scotland House' brings endless opportunities for students, from providing sports therapy and soft tissue support for Team Scotland athletes to covering the competitions and interviewing athletes as part of the digital team.    

Students on the University’s food and front-of-house degree and college courses also get to play their part, catering for the team, family and friends, support staff and dignitaries as part of our Birmingham College of Food.    

Find out more about our courses within our Business School.

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