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Christ Church's dream team heads for Beijing

With the Olympics just a few days away, Canterbury Christ Church University has sent its very own dream team to Beijing.

PhD researcher Helen Curtis and sports science lecturers Dikaia Chatziefstathiou and Dr Louise Mansfield will attend an International Olympics Symposium on Thursday.

The Games, which start on Friday, are preceded by a meeting of academic minds from across the world at Beijing Capital Institute University.

The three, from Christ Church’s department for sports science, tourism and leisure, have been invited to present a paper by the International Research Centre for Olympic Studies, which is based at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Helen, 24, who is researching how women athletes are represented in the media, will also use the trip to carry out case studies during the Games.

“I’ve always watched the Olympics since I was little and dreamt of taking part,” said Helen.

“I’ve not made it as an athlete as such, but I was a volunteer in Athens four years ago and now I’m realising a dream by attending as part of my research.”

Helen, of Hales Place, Canterbury, will interview TV producers and journalists in Beijing. She hopes to complete her PhD within the next year.

Esther Irwin, from Canterbury, who is teaching at a primary school in Beijing, will be writing a Beijing Blog during the Games for kentishgazette.co.uk - watch out for her first piece.

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