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Cardiff Met gears up training for Paralympic Games



​Cardiff Met Alumnus Sa​m​ Cross with his Silver Olympic medal from Rio.

As the dust settles after the Olympic whirlwind and the success of Team GB begins to sink in, all eyes are now turning to the Paralympic Games, starting next month in Rio.

The National Indoor Athletics Centre (NIAC) at Cardiff Met's Cyncoed Campus is gearing up training for its Paralympians including former Cardiff Met student Aled Davies who will represent Great Britain in the Shotput and Discus. Alumni Jon Pett is Team Leader for Para-Cycling and previous student Stephen Thomas will sail for GB in his fifth and final Paralympic Games.

Further Cardiff Met support will see, Rachel Spanner as Physio for GB Wheelchair Basketball. 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. Simon Watkins is Coach to Paralympic swimmer Sean Russo and Sarah McGoven has coached the Skud team.

Throughout the Olympic Games, Cardiff Met students, past and present have been representing Team GB in a variety of events, alongside staff and alumni supporting these sports stars from the backroom benches.

A particular highlight for the University included alumni Helen Glover securing a gold medal for Britain, in the women's pair race with her partner Heather Stanning.

Sam Cross won a silver medal in the men's rugby sevens tournament, winning against Kenya, Japan, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa.

Discussing his time at the Olympics, Sam said "Rio was an amazing experience from the moment I arrived to the moment I left. Never once when I was growing up did I think I would have the honour of competing in the Olympic Games and it was everything I imagined and more! To be part of something that's bigger than your sport and bigger than just any individual was such a unique environment. Everyone supported one another to achieve greatness and being part of Team GB, in what was a record-breaking games, was an incredible experience.

"To become an Olympian was amazing but to come back with a silver medal is beyond words. I'd like to thank everyone at Cardiff Met for the support and well wishes I received throughout the games. Thank you for all the help and support I received during my three years there, I have no doubt that I wouldn't have been stood on that podium without it."

The British men's rugby sevens also included former Cardiff Met student, Daniel Bibby who scored the winning try in the match between Great Britain and Argentina.

Despite the women's rugby sevens team missing out on a medal in Rio, there were many great performances, notably from Cardiff Met student Jasmine Joyce. She represented Wales alongside 11 other English players on the GB team and also Cardiff Met alumni Danielle Waterman, Kay Wilson and Heather Fisher, who did their squad and country proud. As did student Charlotte Wingfield who represented Malta in the 100m and 200m events.

Professor Richard Tong, Dean of Cardiff School of Sportsaid: "A huge well done and acknowledgement to all Cardiff Met students and alumni who competed in their games and to their coaches and support teams.

"We anticipate further success for Britain in the Paralympic Games next month and look forward to following Cardiff Met's sport stars in action."

Channel 4's official Paralympic Games advert, which will air in the lead up to the games, stars six-year-old Cian Morris, who was born without a fully-formed right hand. Cian had a prosthetic hand made last year, manufactured through 3D printing technology at Cardiff School of Art and Design-based high tech workshop, equipped with cutting edge digital manufacturing technology, FabLab.

The Paralympic Games begin on September 7.