A celebratory event was held at the University of Portsmouth last week for a student who won silver at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.
Master’s student Lauren Steadman competed in the debut paratriathlon event on Copacabana beach in Brazil.
Lauren’s support team – including coaches, psychologists and trainers – joined her at the celebration event, along with academic and support staff, family, friends and members of the University’s Executive Board.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith presented Lauren with a Hall of Fame plaque and a framed Team GB shirt.
He said: “This event is not about the University, it is about a dedicated person who has worked extraordinarily hard to win a Paralympic medal. We are so proud of Lauren – she is a real ambassador who has excelled in both her sporting and academic careers.”
Lauren has been supported by the University throughout her undergraduate and postgraduate studies through the sports scholarship scheme provided by the Department of Sport and Recreation.
In this time she has competed at two Paralympic Games, won two World Championships and three European Championships, and achieved a first-class honours degree in Psychology. She is currently on track for a distinction in her Master’s in Business and Management.
Lauren said: “The University has been absolutely fantastic in helping me combine my training and studying – without the support I’ve had I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Lauren, who was born without her arm below the elbow joint, started swimming before she was a year old. At the age of 15 she competed in the Beijing Paralympic Games. She competed at two Paralympics in swimming before deciding to switch her attention to triathlons.
Today she is part of the Team GB homecoming parade through London, which kicked off in Trafalgar Square at 1pm.