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Castle students walk in footsteps of childhood heroes to explore sport heritage in Germany

Visiting some of Germany's most important sporting sites has proved a career-boosting experience for students at Leicester Castle Business School (LCBS).

Business Management in Sport MSc students explored Olympic stadiums, toured the home of Bayern Munich and attended the BMW Open tennis tournament, enabling them to compare domestic sites of sports heritage with those in another country.

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Business Management in Sport MSc students next to the Olympic rings underneath the launch point of the Garmisch-Partenkirchen ski jump

They also spoke with international event organisers, gaining new ideas to take to potential employers.

Leighton James described the trip as a joy from start to finish.

He said: "The experience prompted discussion, debate, ideas and memories and has furthered my understanding, knowledge and passion for sport."

Leighton's highlights were visits to the Olympic Park in Munich, noted for its dramatic architecture and remembered for the terrorist attack on the Israeli athletes and coaches in 1972, and Allianz Arena, home of his childhood footballing heroes Bayern Munich.

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Tom Judd, left, and David Brefo-Boateng test out their football skills in the Bayern Munich museum at Allianz Arena

The 23-year-old said: "To understand the commitment those athletes put themselves through is beyond comprehension. That, twinned with the terrorist attack and the lives of those who passed away, can only be comprehended when visiting the sites."

Leighton has recently secured a placement at Notts County Football Club, with the ultimate ambition of a career in live event marketing or management.

He added: "I hope to take on some of the most successful and commercially viable European ways of conducting business."

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Leighton James, left, and Tom Judd line up on the athletics track at the 1972 Olympic Stadium

Fellow master's student Matt Lilley, 23, jumped at the chance to experience a new culture, see a new city and further his studies.

"The trip was amazing!" he said.

"My highlight was visiting the site of the 1972 summer Olympic Games, which is the topic of one of my final pieces of coursework. I gained a better understanding of the area and a different perspective of what the Games were like.

"The stadium tour was very engaging and being able to walk on not only the athletics track but also the pitch that some of my footballing heroes have set foot on was just the icing on the cake."

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The trip was organised through #DMUglobal - De Montfort University Leicester's (DMU) international experience programme - and led by Principal Lecturer Dr Heather Dichter.

She said: "Site visits are an integral part of the Sport Heritage module. Germany has hosted the Olympics multiple times, the World Cup, and has a strong sport industry in general.

"The students also visited the ski jump facility and Olympic museum in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a smaller Alpine town that hosted the 1936 Winter Games and one of the stops on the annual Four Hills Tournament.

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From left, David Brefo-Boateng, Leighton James and Matt Lilley lean out of the jury boxes at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen ski jump

"Our trip coincided with an international sporting event - the BMW Open, a stop on the ATP World Tour for men's tennis - where students got to see in practice some of the ideas discussed in our Mega-events module.

"Seeing how an international sporting event in another country is organised also provided new ideas for students to take to their future employers."

Dr Dichter added that more exciting #DMUglobal opportunities are planned for Business Management in Sport students, including Toronto in September.

Posted on Wednesday 10th May 2017

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