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Graduate follows her dream all the way to the London Olympics


Sharlene King
2 August 2012
While our athletes are rightly the centre of attention at the Olympic Games, Australian Olympic Committee members like Courtney Allison-Young are responsible for making sure they get a good night’s sleep.

Courtney is the Australian Olympic Team’s accommodation coordinator. She graduated from Southern Cross University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Sport Tourism Management.

“I assist the Australian Olympic Team accommodation manager allocate to the various sports their allotment in the Olympic Village and coordinate room readiness, the check-in and check-out process,” Courtney said from London.

The 25-year-old’s role also sees her coordinate additional accommodation at Queen Mary University (the Village overflow accommodation for Olympic officials); as well as accommodation at Royal Holloway for the Rowing and Canoe Sprint Village; and Weymouth accommodation for the Sailing Village.

“Village life, meeting people from all different nations, watching sporting events and working with my colleagues and friends on the biggest sporting event in the world is such a buzz!” said Courtney.

“It is surreal to see all the big names in sport wandering by or saying hello because I, too, am in green and gold. It certainly highlights how special this once in a lifetime opportunity is.”

Being in London for the Games is the realisation of a dream for Courtney.

“Since as long as I can remember I’ve always loved sport and wanted to become involved. I consider myself incredibly lucky being able to make my passion my career.”

She moved from Canberra to Ballina in 2006 to study at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus - and immediately excelled in her course. Courtney earned the NSW Minister Student Achiever Award in Tourism (for highest academic achievement in the first year of her degree) and the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) Scholarship from Southern Cross University in 2007 which allowed her to travel to Canada to continue her studies as an exchange student for 12 months.

The London experience has given Courtney a taste of what is possible for a sports administrator.

“I’m just lapping up these Games and enjoying every moment. I most definitely want to continue working on large-scale sporting events like the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, but who knows what’s around the corner.”

Courtney is not alone in representing Southern Cross University at the London Games.

Master of International Sport Management student Rob Abernethy is head of aquatics at the London Games.

Rob, a former Australian representative swimmer, has achieved impressive credentials as a sports administrator since retiring from the pool. He has previously worked for Victorian Swimming, Sydney Olympic Games Organising Committee, 2001 Goodwill Games, 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Committee, 2002 Commonwealth Games, and Australian Rugby Union.
Photo: Courtney Allison-Young at the Olympic Stadium in London.