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St Mary's Academic Director Invited to House of Commons

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St Mary's Academic Director Invited to House of Commons

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Academic Director for Physical and Sport Education at St Mary’s University, Twickenham Helen Thornalley was invited to attend a Road to Rio Lunch in the House of Commons on 13th May. The lunch was hosted to celebrate the achievements of swimmer Hannah Russell since the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Hannah, who competes in the S12 classification for visual impairment, won three medals at London 2012, two world titles in 2013 and 2015, and three medals at the 2014 European Championships. Helen Thornalley Helen is currently undertaking research with Hannah, which is looking at how the Road to Rio has been played out by this student/athlete. Recording the highs and lows of what a dedicated and committed athlete has to go through in order to compete in international competitions, complete training and balance their day to day life on campus. The lunch was hosted to raise funds for two charities, Sight for Surrey and henshaws, who supported Hannah throughout her life, ahead of what is expected to be another successful year at Rio 2016. Speaking after the event Helen said, “The opportunity to be invited to such a prestigious event, seeing Hannah work as a sports ambassador for her discipline and fulfilling media expectations was a real honour. This insight into what athlete’s have to do no matter what their age or experience is was extremely unique as a researcher and was something that was some what removed from that of her normal training and competing."  
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