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NTU student and quartet of graduates part of GB Olympic canoeing team heading to Tokyo

A current student and four Nottingham Trent University graduates are part of the British Canoeing team heading to Tokyo for the Olympics.

Emily Lewis
NTU student Emily Lewis, who will represent GB in the canoe sprint event

Emily Lewis, a forensic science student and 2016 Under 23 European Bronze medallist, will be representing GB in the canoe sprint event.

British Canoeing Performance Director Paul Ratcliffe and canoe slalom technical coaches Richard Hounslow and Craig Morris are all NTU alumni, as is canoe slalom competitor Adam Burgess.

In another link for the university, NTU video journalist Helen Darby-Dowman – who won a Bronze medal in Athens in 2004 in the canoe slalom event – will be commentating for the BBC once the Games begin. Helen, who is based in the Communications, Admissions, Marketing and Student Recruitment (CAMS) team, is the only British female canoeist to win a medal at the Olympics.

Performance Director Paul, who oversees men’s and women’s canoe slalom and canoe sprint events, studied maths and chemistry at NTU (1992-1995) and was a canoe slalom kayak Silver medallist at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.  

Men’s slalom coach Richard is a sport science and management graduate (2000-2003) and won canoe slalom Silver medals at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  

Craig, who coaches Adam Burgess and the other two women’s athletes, graduated from NTU with a degree in business studies in 2004, while Adam studied sports science and management, graduating in 2014.

Together, Richard and Craig coach all four of the slalom team.

NTU student Emily said: “I'm super excited to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and represent Team GB. It's something I've been working towards for a long time now. 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."

Paul Ratcliffe, NTU alumnus and performance director for British Canoeing, 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 events take place from July 25-30, while canoe sprint runs from August 2-7.

Meanwhile other competitors include NTU lecturer in exercise physiology, Dr Jessica Piasecki, who has been selected to run the women’s marathon, graduate Adam Dixon who is captain of the GB men’s hockey team and graduate Carly Telford who has been called up as a goalkeeper for the GB women’s football squad.

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.”

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Dave Rogers, Public Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8782, or via email.

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students.

    NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With over 37,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University injects £1.6bn into the UK economy. It has been the largest recruiter of UK undergraduates in each of the last four years. With an international student population of more than 6,000 and an NTU community representing around 160 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook.

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was awarded University of the Year in the UK Social Mobility Awards 2019.

NTU student and quartet of graduates part of GB Olympic canoeing team heading to Tokyo

Published on 21 July 2021
  • Subject area: Sciences including sport sciences
  • Category: Press office; Sport; School of Science and Technology

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