Cardiff Met Sports Stars and Specialists Represent Team GB in Rio

​​05/08/2016

​Sam Cro​ss

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Jasmine Joyce

The countdown is over for over thirty Cardiff Met students and past students in Rio representing Team GB in a variety of events and the staff and alumni supporting these sports stars from the backroom benches.

Many of the Olympians and Paralympians have also used the University's prestigious National Indoor Athletics Centre for their training in the run-up to the Games.

Eleven sportsmen and women and athletes will fulfil their dreams over coming weeks, with a record six Cardiff Met students and alumni selected to play Rugby 7s at the Games.

Sports Management student Charlotte Wingfield will represent Malta in the 100m and 200m events and said: "This is a childhood dream which has finally come true, I am so excited to compete on a world stage and become an Olympian"

Heptathlete Katy Sealy is the official flag bearer for Belize and completed a Sport and Exercise Science degree here before a Further Education course in Massage. Ieuan Lloyd will compete in the 200m swimming event.

Alumnus Stafford Murray is Head of Analysis for the entire Team GB.

Jasmine Joyce, from Pembrokeshire, is currently on a year-long break from Cardiff Met, in order to develop her game and will line up with 11 English players in the 12-strong women's Sevens squad.

She joins Cardiff Met alumni Danielle Waterman and Kay Wilson in the women's 7s squad as well as Heather Fisher, who was a World Cup winner in 2014.

On the men's team, Abergavenny-born Sam Cross, who studied here on a Sport & Exercise Science scholarship, lines up alongside former Cardiff Met student Daniel Bibby, who also represented England Rugby Sevens at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Sam said: "Things are becoming very real and obviously I am extremely excited with the incredible opportunity I have,

"Since representing GB students in the Student Olympics in Kazan during my time at Cardiff Met, the Olympics has been a long term goal of mine and for it now to be a reality is still pretty surreal!

"To be sharing this experience with Dan Bibby, an ex team mate and university pal is pretty special. Having shared many a memory on Pitch One at Cyncoed campus, winning a gold in Brive with GB students and enjoying Wednesday socials at Revs with Dan, the fact we are going to both be representing Team GB in Rio this summer is amazing.

"We both have to thank Cardiff Met for the help and support we received on our journey and are both honoured to be representing the University on our adventure this summer in Rio."

Dan added: "We have worked so hard to make it to this point. It's been the toughest seven weeks I've ever been involved in so it will be nice to finally get out there and show everyone what we can do!

"It makes the experience even better that I get to play with Crossy too. It seems surreal that we were playing against Swansea Uni in a big derby match together five years ago and now we are playing in an Olympics together!"

Alumna Zoe Eaton is also Team Manager for the Women's Rugby team. Experienced rowing star Helen Glover is also at the Games.

Paralympian Aled Davies represents Great Britain in the Shotput and Discus and studied at Cardiff Met, like his personal coach Ryan Spencer-Jones. Paralympian Stephen Thomas sails for GB and said: "It's going to be an amazing honour to be representing Paralympics GB in Rio 2016. I think the Rio Paralympics will be unlike any other. It's fair to say that the Games has had its fair share of negative press however the country is sports mad and they are looking forward to putting on a vibrant energetic Games. 

"The Games will be my fifth and final Paralympic Games.  I attended my first Games when I was a student at Cardiff Met or UWIC and am still extremely proud to be considered flying the flag for Cardiff Met. The family stretches far and wide and it's a testament to Cardiff Met's excellence that you find yourself with so many of the current or alumni population when you represent Team GB and Paralympics GB."

Alumni Scott Simpson has been coaching Holly Bradshaw in the Javelin while alumni Jon Pett is Team Leader for Para-Cycling

Rhys Shorney is Physio for GB's Swimming team while Rachel Spanner is Physio for GB Wheelchair Basketball.

British high jumper Chris Baker is coached by Cardiff Met alumni Sharon Heveran and Gareth Lease while Tim Pitt is psychologist to the Paralympic Table Tennis team.

Weight lifter and Tae Kwondo champion Michaela Breeze will be commentating on the Paralympic Powerlifting and Sitting Volleyball events.

Former Cardiff Met students Alistair Patterson and Laura Needham are GB Men's Hockey Performance Analyst and Lead Physiologist for the Boxing Team while Joe Hewitt is Strength & Conditioning Coach for GB Cycling.

Gerwyn Owen is Leading Talent Project Manager for the Paralympic Games, where Simon Watkins is Coach to Paralympic swimmer Sean Russo and Sarah McGoven has coached the Skud team.

Alumni Tom Rusga and David Thomas have been working with English Institute of Sport with Tom having a firm focus on GB Hockey and David working on Tech Support for the Rowing and Canoeing regattas.

Cardiff Met's Michael Peyrebrune is Performance Scientist for GB's Swimming Team and Nia Edwards coaches British Artistic Gymnast Ruby Harrold.

Experienced broadcasters Brent Pope and Non Evans MBE are also Cardiff Met alumni. Brent will be commentating for the Olympic Broadcasting Services' Global Feed with Non providing UK-based BBC and Welsh language coverage.

Professor Richard Tong, Dean of Cardiff School of Sport, said: "I am delighted that so many students, staff and former students and staff from Cardiff School of Sport are contributing to the Olympics by representing several countries in a variety of sports and events in Rio.

"This is an excellent opportunity for them and is testament to the calibre of sports stars and expertise produced at Cardiff Met. All the very best to each of them."

Channel 4's official Paralympic Games advert stars six-year-old Cian Morris, who was born without a fully-formed right hand and had a prosthetic one made last year,manufactured through 3D printing technology at FabLab. This is the Cardiff School of Art and Design-based high tech workshop equipped with cutting edge digital manufacturing technology and equipment that can be used to create or recreate anything.  The Channel 4 advert is currently being broadcast ahead of the games, which begin on September 7th.