Four alumni head to Rio for Paralympic Games

Four University of Birmingham alumni are taking part in the Paralympic Games which open in Rio de Janeiro today.

2014 PGCE graduate Laura Sugar, 2011 Physics graduate Pamela Relph MBE, 2010 Physiotherapy graduate Lora Turnham and 2009 Physiotherapy graduate Alison Patrick all hope to follow in the success of University of Birmingham Sport (UBSport) athletes in the Rio Olympic Games last month as the Paralympic Games opens in Rio today.

Four-time World Champion and London 2012 gold medallist, Pamela Relph MBE, will be looking to add to her medal collection in the rowing mixed coxed four. Relph only took up rowing in 2010 and was the captain of the Birmingham Pussycats cheerleading squad during her time at University.

The triathlon event in the Olympic Games saw a stunning race from alumna Non Stanford who placed fourth for Team GB behind teammate Vicky Holland.  The para-triathlon is set to be equally as thrilling for UBSport alumna, Alison Patrick.

Alison PatrickPatrick, pictured above, who pursued a career in physiotherapy after graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2009, subsequently took a break from her career to pursue triathlon full time which resulted in her gaining the ITU Para-triathlon world title in 2014 and 2016. Patrick is visually impaired (less than 10% vision) and races in the PT5 class with a guide athlete who is tethered during the swim and run and races on a tandem bike.

The Rio Olympic Games was hugely successful for the British Cycling Team and hoping to add to their success story is 2010 Physiotherapy alumna, Lora Turnham. Lora has a hereditary sight loss condition and races with pilot Corrine Hall. The duo have experienced huge success since their pairing after the London 2012 Olympics including gold at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in the Tandem B road race.

The most recent UBSport graduate who will be representing Team GB at the Rio Paralympic Games is 2014 PGCE graduate, Laura Sugar. Sugar was born to compete on an international level, starting her sports career representing Wales in hockey, she then switched to athletics in 2013. 2016 has already produced a silver medal for Sugar at the IPC Athletics European Championships in the T44 100m.

UBSport wishes all of the athletes good luck at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. Show your support for our alumni by using #ubsportinrio.