Barnoldswick man’s Olympic place

OLYMPIC DREAM: Oliver Hylands from Barnoldswick will provide statistics in the London Olympics and Paralympics.
OLYMPIC DREAM: Oliver Hylands from Barnoldswick will provide statistics in the London Olympics and Paralympics.

A FORMER West Craven student has secured a prime courtside seat at the London Olympics and Paralympics.

Oliver Hylands (22) is one of 24 basketball enthusiasts who have been selected by timekeepers Omega to help compile their official statistics for the 2012 Games.

He will be responsible for spotting every shot, point and rebound, which will provide the detailed games analysis.

Oliver, who is in his final year of a sports marketing degree at Leeds Metropolitan University, has been through a rigorous selection process over the last year to secure his place.

This has included him working on various national finals.

At 6ft 7in. Oliver is also a natural basketball player, and is a member of the Leeds Carnegie team, having taken up the sport at 16.

It was as a player for the team that he became interested in the more technical side of the game as each team in the league has to provide its own statistics.

Oliver said: “You really have to understand the game, concentrate and be able to make really quick decisions and go with your instinct.

“Being able to do it at the Olympics is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Oliver, whose family live in Park Street, Barnoldswick, will be in London from July 22nd to cover both Olympic events and is looking forward to receiving VIP treatment while he is there.

“It’s all really exciting. I’m not too nervous about the games because I’m used to collecting the stats by myself for my own team, and in London I will be in a team of six so it takes the pressure off.”

After his dream summer and graduation, Oliver hopes to continue working for Leeds Carnegie and said he already does a lot with the business side of the club.

“I am looking where I can go with it. Basketball is still a developing game in England but it is a dream job and the NBA are trying to do a lot more here. There is also a European League and it is quite a big sport in Spain, Portugal and Germany.”