Updated: Friday, 22nd May 2020 @ 2:15pm

Manchester College students playing their part in Team GB bobsleigh’s 2014 Winter Olympics ambitions

Manchester College students playing their part in Team GB bobsleigh’s 2014 Winter Olympics ambitions

By Steven Oldham

Team GB’s bobsleigh team attended The Manchester College yesterday to showcase students’ work on their Olympic carriage.

Students at the Openshaw campus were treated to a visit from Withington’s Lamin Deen and his teammates Dave Smith and Richard Sharman.

The Manchester College sponsor the team - who are entirely self funded – and students on automotive courses there help keep the Olympic bobsleigh in optimum condition.

Lamin said: “It’s excellent to see the people behind it.  In return for their hard work we can show them where their work will take us, and we hope they’re inspired because of that.

“They’re not just adding a layer of paint – their work is adding aerodynamic performance, so they really are contributing to our results.”

Lamin, Dave and Richard all gave presentations of their sport to students and visitors, including videos of them in action on the ice.

Students on Vehicle Body and Paint Operations diploma courses have sprayed the Olympic bobsleigh and this project is currently filling their timetable.

Umar Khan, 19 and Manny Azeem, 18, both from Crumpsall, are in their second year on the Level 2 course.

Manny said: “I’ve only seen bobsleigh on the Olympics so it’s good to work on one.

“I’ve enjoyed working on the bobsleigh and if I got the chance I’d definitely work on a mix of these and normal cars in my own garage.”

Umar agreed: “Working on the bobsleigh is definitely an inspiration.  It’s been an interesting thing for us to do because there’s more curves than on a car.”

Manny, Umar and their fellow students will also work on the van used to transport the team’s bob and will decorate the Mercedes vehicle – a gift from the car company – in the same colours.

Lamin is delighted to get the backing of such a big company.

“Getting Mercedes on board is massive.  It’s a big gesture from them.  We’ve also seen some new potential sponsors today so it’s been successful on that front too.”

Dave Smith believes the day had been successful in widening the sport’s appeal.

“It’s not often people get the chance to see a bobsleigh up close. Days like this make the sport more accessible to people,” said Smith

The event was attended by Labour councillor Chris Paul, who sits in the Withington seat and he feels local kids can follow Lamin’s lead.

“Lamin is setting a great example for these students,” said Councillor Paul. 

“He’s proof that if kids have focus they can achieve great things – be it academic, vocational or in sports.”

“Lamin has told me that some people he knows from his youth have been in and out of jail.  He could have gone down the same road but he hasn’t and is showing that people from our community can do well.”

The GB bobsleigh team are taking part in the British Championships at the end of the month.  Visit www.britishbobsleighteam.co.uk for more information.

The Manchester College offer a wide range of academic and vocational courses .  For more information visit www.themanchestercollege.ac.uk