LONDON — An East Surry High School graduate’s summer plans ranged further from home than he had anticipated when he secured an internship across the pond.
Daniel Hancock, who graduated from East Surry in 2016 and is a junior at The College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, New York, is majoring in sports marketing with a concentration in sports media. He also is a member of both the tennis and basketball teams there.
Hancock had a summer internship lined up with Hoop Group, organizing summer camps for high school basketball prospects, when an opportunity presented itself to go to London and assist in the preparation for the Royal Windsor Triathlon, according to his father Vince, of Pilot Mountain.
Hancock is working with The Human Race, one of the United Kingdom’s leading organizers of mass participation events. The Human Race hosts more than 30 events each year in triathlon, cycling, running and duathlon. This year, the Royal Windsor Triathlon, which takes place in the Queen’s home town of Windsor, drew 2,500 participants.
Hancock first heard about the opportunity for the internship from his assistant men’s basketball coach, Sergio Asaro. He learned that he had secured the internship in May, just before the semester ended.
“I was in disbelief at first,” he recalled.
Having never traveled outside the United States, Hancock admitted to being a little nervous about traveling alone to a foreign country.
During his internship, Hancock stayed at the Royal Holloway University and worked closely with his fellow interns to get the thousands of participants through registration and to set up the courses.
“From the first day of my internship, I was impressed with how professional but casual everyone was,” said Hancock. “I loved the tasks given to me. Before the race, I was in charge of making sure the swimmers had a safe area to get out of the river and start their bike race; during the race I was in charge of taking the timers off the racers after they finished.”
Though very busy with his internship while in London, Hancock did take some time to explore the city during his free time.
“I did a lot of tourist stuff. Some of my favorite things were riding the London Eye, going to the horse races, seeing the Queen and watching the English soccer games.”
Vince Hancock said his son went to an English pub during the early stages of the World Cup.
“He got to watch England play a soccer match — sorry, I mean football,” Hancock quickly corrected himself. “He got to watch England play a World Cup football match in an English pub. That’s a great experience.”
Hancock did miss spending time with family this summer, but ultimately, he said, it was one of the best experiences he has ever had and definitely worth it. His father is still hoping Daniel might make it home for 10 days before school starts back up.
“We moved here from Louisiana when Daniel was 6 weeks old,” said the elder Hancock. “He’s spent his whole life here in Pilot Mountain. He’s done some traveling, but not much. We were initially surprised when he chose a school so far away and in such a big city. (New Rochelle is part of the New York City metropolitan area, just north of The Bronx in Westchester County.) But he took to the campus and the diversity of cultures and races. He’s done really well. The thing that bonded him with the other students was his work in the athletic department.”
The College of New Rochelle is a Division III school in the Hudson Valley Athletic Conference, and according to Hancock, is moving from a regional recruitment plan to recruiting from all over the country.
“I can’t tell you how proud we are,” said Hancock of his son’s accomplishments. “Making the move to New York, traveling to London, he’s doing well. Pilot Mountain was a great place for him to grow up. It’s serving him well.”
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.