Olympic stat jobs were a real honour

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THREE basketball statisticians have described the honour of working at the Olympics as an experience that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Worthing’s Alan Sweetman-Hicks and Owen Peck and Worthing Thunder chairman Frank Gainsbury were all involved in keeping the stats up-to-date for the basketball matches in the capital for London 2012.

The trio, who have all in the past or are still currently involved with Worthing Thunder, had the honour of keeping tally on some of the best sides and players in the world as they competed for gold.

They joined the huge army of volunteers and workers, and between the three of them covered the women’s final, men’s and women’s semi-finals as well as group matches, and also admired both the magical opening and closing ceremonies in the Olympic Stadium.

Gainsbury had the honour of statting in the women’s final as the USA beat France at the North Greenwich Arena, after the trio got split into different groups for different matches at the quarter-final stage.

The trio did do a number of games together, including the opening game of the tournament which saw the eventual men’s gold medal winners, the USA, in action.

Gainsbury said: “It was just amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The people were so friendly and it means a lot to say I had been involved.

“I was appointed to the opening game, which was the first USA game, and it just made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. There was so much media presence and cameras and people, it was amazing.

“For the final, there was in excess of 12,000 people watching, being court side and looking up into the crowd, they just disappeared into darkness, it was just a fantastic arena.”

Full story in last Thursday’s paper.