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University students in Kent win prestigious national essay prize

14 July 2011

Two students from Kent universities have won first prize in a prestigious national student essay competition at the annual Coubertin Olympic Awards.

PhD student Brenda Atuona at the University of Kent’s Centre for Sports Studies, and Luke Harris, PhD student of History and American Studies, and Sports Science, Tourism and Leisure at Canterbury Christ Church University, received a £2000 prize for their award winning essay on the effects of corruption in sports on the Olympic ideals and sponsorship programmes. 

The aim of the Coubertin Olympic Awards is to promote the application of Olympic ideals to the world of business, including the business of sport itself. The competition, now in its second year, is organised by the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee in partnership with the Institute of Business Ethics. 

Gareth Wynn, EDF Energy Programme Director for 2012 and one of the judges, said: “When I read the top five essays I knew which one had to win. The joint team from Canterbury Christ Church University and University of Kent talked about corruption and that is a key issue for us as sponsors.” 

Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou, Reader in Sports Science, Tourism and Leisure at Canterbury Christ Church University, recently received the first Pierre de Coubertin prize for her world-leading Olympic research. Following the award, Dr Chatziefstathiou was asked to launch and lead the prestigious essay competition. 

She said: “I am delighted that the winning team came from Kent, a joint force between Canterbury Christ Church and University of Kent, and that their research in this important field had been recognised by a national panel. I am very pleased for both Luke and Brenda.” 

PhD student Ms Atuona said: “It was an absolute pleasure working on the essay - to win was an added delight - and I would recommend any student to take up this opportunity.”

Dr Sakis Pappous, Ms Atuona’s PhD supervisor and the Director of Graduate Studies at the Centre for Sports Studies, said: “We aim to foster critical thinking in our graduate students and encourage them to engage in debates and competitions like this, in which they can apply their analytical skills.”

Ends

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.

  • In 2010 the Faculty of Education received ‘outstanding’ grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
  • 94 % of our recent graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating (2009/10 DLHE survey).
  • Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.

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Maria Surcel
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