Portsmouth students become Paralympians

Three University of Portsmouth students past and present are taking part in the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Recent graduate Dan Bentley, who won gold in Beijing, today won a bronze medal in boccia. He said, “Remember that however well you are playing there is always more to give in the tank. It’s there somewhere, you’ve just got to find it.”

Current student Lauren Steadman and former student Graham Edmunds have their hopes pinned on medals in swimming.

Lauren Steadman

Second year psychology student Lauren Steadman

Lauren will be competing in the 400m Freestyle swimming final this evening, as well as 50m Freestyle tomorrow morning and 100m Freestyle on Friday. She qualified for the Beijing Paralympics at the age of 15. She says, “The University have been fantastic this year with helping me balance my swimming and my degree.”

Paul Tilley, Head of Sport and Recreation at the University of Portsmouth, said: “We’re very proud of Lauren. She’s one of our Sports Scholars who is a real asset to the University and we’re doing everything we can to support her at the 2012 Games.”

Graham now works as a pharmacist after gaining a degree in pharmacy from University of Portsmouth. Prior to a road traffic accident in 2000, Graham competed in non-disabled competition for 10 years – but his greatest achievements are the two gold medals that he won in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay (34pts) at the Games in both Beijing and Athens. He will be taking part in the 50m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle.

Portsmouth students who are competing at a regional or international level in their sport are eligible to apply for support and funding the University’s sports scholarship schemes. Elite scholars receive a wide range of assistance including free access to the University sports facilities, expert coaching and a mentor who can help with any academic issues.

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