The Institute of Hospitality has staged its university debating contest, Passion 4 Hospitality, at Hotelympia for the first time.
In its second year, teams from six universities (Oxford Brookes, London Metropolitan, University of Plymouth, University of Brighton, University of West London and Westminster Kingsway College) battled for and against the motion that "the London 2012 Olympics will be positive for the UK hospitality industry".
The preliminary heats were hosted at the Novotel hotel London, Docklands, while the final took place at Hotelympia in front of a live audience of students and professionals, including Jan Matthews, head of catering, cleaning and waste, for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
The Universities of Brighton and Oxford Brookes made it to the finals at Hotelympia where they were required not only to make presentations, but also to deal with a series of questions from the audience and the judges.
In an audience vote, the University of Brighton team were declared the winners.
All participants were presented with certificates by Sir David Michels, president of the Institute of Hospitality. "It doesn't matter how good you were. You have been courageous enough to put yourselves in the lion's den, and the more you practice, the better you'll get. The ability to talk and to persuade others is of prime importance in our industry," said Sir David.
The winners were awarded places at the Institute of Hospitality Annual Lunch and £40 vouchers. The event was sponsored by Bartlett Mitchell, Fresh Montgomery, Harbour & Jones, Novotel hotel London Docklands, Parliament Hill and Red Carnation Hotels.
By Neil Gerrard
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