SOCLAS graduate Theo Rowley has been a volunteer – also known as a ‘Games Maker’ – at the London 2012 Olympics, thanks in part to his language skills. Theo graduated in the summer of 2011 with a degree in English and French, having spent four years as an undergraduate in SOCLAS. Theo submitted his application two years ago, long before the Olympic games came to the UK. Theo, who spent his third year as an English Language Assistantin Quebec, was appointed ‘Olympic Family Assistant’ to French-speaking dignitaries, thanks in part to his degree in French & English, as well as his sporting activities during his time at Liverpool.
Theo has very much enjoyed his time working at the Games; “My role principally involves driving an assigned client to desired locations, whether that be meetings, functions or, to my delight, glamorous Olympic events. Because of my ability to speak a second language, I have been fortunate to witness an array of once-in-a-lifetime moments: countless records broken, Team GB majestically claiming several gold medals in the vélodrome, Usain Bolt proving himself to be the fastest man alive once again, Michael Phelps assuming the title as the greatest Olympian ever. The list goes on!” The fact that Theo honed his language skills in the French Section over his time in SOCLAS was a key aspect of his application, and these skills have been put to the test. Commenting on his mastery of French, Theo concludes that “not only have I helped my assigned client have a memorable and angst-free time, but also those I’ve encountered from – to name but a few – Tunisia, Senegal, Switzerland, Belgium, Québec, Cote d’Ivoire and Algeria have departed in the knowledge that they will always be warmly-welcomed to Great Britain and London.”