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Donna Fraser

Born: 1972

Job: athlete

Attended: Croydon college from 1989 to 1992

Studied: business and finance, travel and tourism, computer literacy, typing and IT

Donna Fraser is a Commonwealth Games medalist who also finished fourth in the Sydney Olympics 400m final - the race in which Australian Cathy Freeman took gold.

Donna lives in London and is aiming for gold at the 400m and 4x400m in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing .

"My time at Croydon college definitely helped me. I have always enjoyed travelling and speaking to people, and we had to do this working in a travel centre. Now that I often have to speak to journalists, I suppose I gained my confidence and skills to do that from way back then at college. I had to make new friends, so college brought me out of my shell.

"My co-ordinator for business and finance was Peter Sayers. He was very helpful to me.

"My co-ordinator for travel and tourism was Jeff Hooper. He was excellent; very funny and down to earth. My main memory of Jeff was when our class went to Butlins in the South-west, where he was originally from. It was like being on holiday with a friend. He told us stories about when he was growing up and all about cider!

"After leaving college and having done the business and finance course, I went straight into the travel and tourism course, during which we had to do work experience in a travel-related business. I wrote to the St Vincent and the Grenadines tourist office. My parents are from St Vincent. I ended up working there after college for three years as a sales representative.

"I kept in touch with a few people from college for a while and we had regular get-togethers, but, sadly, life does get busy and we haven't met up for some time. I have seen a few of them when out shopping, and I never forget faces.

"I would like to thank all the tutors and classmates who helped me through my years at Croydon college, especially Jeff Hooper as he was very supportive during my illness with glandular fever in my final year in 1992 and made efforts to deliver my coursework to my home. Without his help, I would have found it very stressful and difficult to keep up once I returned to class."

Donna Fraser was talking to Shekhar Bhatia

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