NTU student and alumni head to Tokyo as part of the GB Olympic canoeing team

A current NTU student and a quartet of graduates will represent GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as part of the British Canoeing team.

Emily Lewis, a Forensic Science student, will be representing Great Britain in the canoe sprint event.

Having picked up a bronze medal at the 2016 Under 23 European Championships, Emily has been working hard towards her goal of representing Team GB at the Olympics and has even taken a break from her studies to train for the big event.

She said: “I’m super excited to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and represent Team GB.

“I had taken a break from my studies this year to focus on this goal but I’m looking forward to coming back and picking it back up again in the autumn.

“NTU have been incredibly supportive of my journey and I’m proud to be part of it.”

NTU alumnus Paul Ratcliffe is the British Canoeing Performance Director who oversees men’s and women’s canoe slalom and canoe sprint events.

Paul, a Maths and Chemistry graduate from NTU (1992-1995), was a canoe slalom kayak Silver medallist at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

He said: “We’re delighted to be representing Team GB in Tokyo, after what has been a challenging year for people all over the world and we’re grateful to all parties who have helped get us to Tokyo safely.

“Nottingham has a rich heritage of canoeing, and it’s great to see NTU represented at all levels within the canoeing team.

“We’re all looking forward to the competition getting underway in a few days’ time.”

Canoe slalom competitor Adam Burgess (top right) with the GB canoeing team for Tokyo 2020 (Credit: British Canoeing)

Richard Hounslow and Craig Morris are canoe slalom technical coaches and NTU graduates.

Men’s slalom coach Richard graduated with a degree in Sports Science and Management in 2003 and won canoe slalom Silver at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Craig graduated with a degree in Business Studies in 2004 and coaches Adam Burgess, who graduated from NTU in 2014 with a degree in Sports Science and Management.

Although not competing in this year’s Olympic Games, Helen Darby-Dowman is an NTU video journalist who won a Bronze medal in Athens in 2004 in the canoe slalom event.

Helen, who is the only British female canoeist to win a medal at the Olympics, will be a BBC commentator for the Games.

Professor Cillian Ryan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for sport at Nottingham Trent University, said: “NTU recognises the enormous benefits that sport brings to our students’ development and the lives of our staff.

“Our Olympians are at the pinnacle of professionalism in their sports and are an example to us all of how we can be ‘faster, higher, stronger – together.

“The entire NTU community wishes them well and looks forward to supporting them in their pursuit of the Olympic dream.”

The canoe slalom events will take place from July 25-30, while the canoe sprint runs will take place from August 2-7.

Lead image: Nottingham Trent University

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