For Amy Cavanagh, one of the University’s Assistant Registrars, August is usually occupied with preparing for the new students starting in September. This year though, her focus has been on the London 2012 Paralympic Games and supporting her brother John, as he competes as part of the GB Paralympic Archery Team.
John Cavanagh is a four-times Paralympian and won Gold in Athens in 2004 and Silver in Beijing four years later. He competes in the Compound W1 category and will be part of the 13-strong GB team going for gold at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich from Thursday 30 August.
Amy and her family have all managed to get tickets to watch John compete, so he will be cheered on by his mum and four sisters, as well as his nephew and nieces.
For Amy it will be the first time she has been able to see him compete and she’s been warned by her sisters that it’s a nerve-wracking business.
She said: “Apparently the tension is un-believable, even though John appears cool as a cucumber. My three sisters travelled to Beijing in 2008 to see John compete and were amazed at how tense the whole thing was!”
Speaking about competing for his country, John said: “I am delighted to be taking part in the London 2012 Paralympic Games – it’s my home city, and I will have family and friends there to support me, which makes it even more special.
“This will be my fourth Games, and being part of the team in Sydney, Athens and Beijing has been very special. But that it’s in London this year makes it even more special for me.”
The University hosted the Paralympic GB team in its preparation for London 2012 and Amy was able to see John when he arrived at the Sports Training Village for final preparations in August.
John took part in a simulation training camp held at the Sports Training Village last September 2011 and was impressed by the University’s facilities and atmosphere.
“It’s great to think that the University will be playing such an important role in preparing the Paralympic GB team for London 2012,” said Amy. “I’m just so excited to think we’ll all be seeing John in London – a real family reunion – and fingers crossed he’ll be bringing home another medal.”