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Student triathlete is European champion

A student athlete who competed in last summer’s Paralympics has become a European Paratriathlon Champion.

Lauren Steadman, a psychology student at the University of Portsmouth, won gold in the recent ETU Paratriathlon European Championships in Turkey. Lauren is a sports scholar at the University, and competed in the freestyle swimming finals of last year’s Paralympic Games before deciding to compete instead in triathlons.

Psychology student and paratriathlete Lauren Steadman

She said: “Whenever I race in the Great Britain colours I feel proud and overwhelmed. Becoming European champion at my first European triathlon competition is one of my greatest achievements, along with competing in the recent Paralympic Games.”

The race last week included a 750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike and five kilometre run. Lauren is a member of the Great Britain Paratriathlon team, which took home six gold, four silver and two bronze medals from the championships. She competed in the Tri4 category and won gold, with a fellow British team mate winning silver.

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.

Paul Tilley, Head of Sport and Recreation at the University, said: “This is yet another fantastic achievement and we are very proud of Lauren. To continually excel in her sporting career alongside managing to study for a degree is an impressive feat, and testament to her hard work and determination. We see a bright future for Lauren and will continue to do everything we can to support her in achieving her sporting dreams.”

Lauren hopes to represent her country again at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016.

Portsmouth students who are competing at a regional or international level in their sport are eligible to apply for support and funding through 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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