Association of London Colleges

Olympic flame makes tutor shine

Olympic flame makes tutor shine

Thanks to his work training local residents, including unemployed ex-offenders, a Newham College IT instructor carried the Olympic flame through Glasgow recently.

Andre Bloem, 31, who works at the college's Learning Line centre in East Ham, had 'a fantastic experience' at 8am on 9 June over the two minutes it took to run 300 metres for the city's last torch bearing leg.

Andre spent the night before in Glasgow to ensure he was at the meeting point by 5am to receive his instructions. He then shared the Olympic bus with 21 others to get to his starting point and began his leg by lighting his torch with the previous runner's flame. When he finished, a security team preserved the flame by lighting a Davy lamp with his torch for the next run outside Glasgow.

He said: 'The whole thing was a fantastic and very humbling experience. When I finished, there were people who wanted to take photos with me and the torch. They also asked questions about where I was from and how I became a torch bearer. There were also many other torch bearers on the day who had inspiring stories to tell.'

Andre's wife Kate and her mother Judi also travelled up to Glasgow to support him. They were very impressed by the warm welcome of the local residents who lined the streets, cheering and waving flags as Andre went past with the torch.

'My wife and parents have told me that they're very proud of me. And I've been getting texts from people in South Africa, which is where I'm originally from.'

Andre was selected by the games organisers, LOCOG and nominated by the Cisco Networking Academy because of his work providing industry-standard training in the five Olympic London boroughs. Andre trains secondary school teachers in teaching pupils professional IT skills and also supports unemployed ex-offenders with their studies and into sustainable jobs.

He said: 'I definitely feel that the work I'm doing is contributing to the Olympic legacy.'

Andre will be part of a special Flame Day celebration put on by Newham College when the torch passes through East Ham on 21 July.


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