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Faster, Higher, Stronger: A Celebration of Sporting Excellence

7th February 2017

Northumbria University will host a special black tie event to formally celebrate the success of its Paralympian students at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

Four students brought home an impressive six medals from the Games, meaning that if Northumbria was a country and appeared in the official medal table, it would be 51st, ahead of the Czech Republic, Denmark and Argentina.

The student athletes will be guests of honour at Northumbria’s fundraising dinner and auction ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger: A Celebration of Sporting Excellence’.

Leadership and Management students Harriet Lee and Claire Cashmore joined Andrew Mullen – who began the same course at Northumbria in September – as part of Team GB in Rio.

Claire Cashmore - Embed

Meanwhile, Sport Management student, Taka Suzuki, represented his home country of Japan in the pool.

Harriet brought home a silver medal in the Women's SB9 100m breaststroke swimming event, while fellow GB athlete and Northumbria student Andrew stormed his way to a silver medal in the Men's S5 50m backstroke. Andrew also scored two bronze medals at last year’s Games, one in the Men's S5 200m freestyle and the other in the Men’s S5 100 freestyle event.

Andrew Mullen - Embed

Claire, who has been competing for Great Britain for 12 years, won a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke and was part of the Para-swim team alongside Steph Millward, Steph Slater and Alice Tai who took gold in the women's 4x100m medley. Claire was made an MBE in January 2017 for her services to swimming to cap off a hugely successful year for her.

Taka narrowly missed out on a medal at this year’s Games, finishing fourth in both the Men’s SM4 150m – with a new lifetime best and a new Japanese record – and the Men’s SB3 50m breaststroke event.

The fundraising dinner and auction will showcase the University’s prowess as a leading UK institution for performance in sport and raise funds to support continued excellence in disability sport and exercise research at Northumbria.

Northumbria University’s Chancellor and one of Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian athletes, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, will be guest speaker at the event. Baroness Grey-Thompson is a celebrated Paralympian, winning 16 medals throughout her career as well as holding over 30 world records. On retiring from sport Baroness Grey-Thompson became a crossbench life peer in the House of Lords. Since 2012 she has worked on numerous Parliamentary bills, with a particular interest in welfare reform, disability rights and of course sport. 

She will be joined by triple Paralympic champion and former world-record holder Stephen Miller MBE, and the event will be hosted by Northumbria alumnus Scott Hastings, former Scotland rugby international and British Lions team member, alongside Fabulous Flournoy, player and head coach of Newcastle Eagles.

The dinner and auction will raise money for the University’s ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ fund, providing Disability Sport Scholarships for elite athletes studying and training at Northumbria; research opportunities to create and apply knowledge about sport performance, health and wellbeing; and specialist equipment and technology to enable more students to participate in sport at Northumbria.

For more information visit the webpage at  

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