August 3, 2016, by Liz Cass
Our Olympic heritage
Here at the University of Nottingham we are immensely proud of our presence at former Olympic Games. We are always thrilled to see our students and alumni achieving in sport and it is fantastic when it reaches an Olympian level.
Olympic success for university alumni stretches back to as early as 1932 with Canoeist John Dudderidge’s participation in the Berlin games. From here we have gone from strength to strength with hockey and water sports being some of our strongest suits. Hockey player John Land competed in the 1964 Tokyo Games and was also a member of the 1959-61 University hockey team – one of the most successful teams in University sport history. Robert Clift continued this success when he won a gold medal in Hockey at Seoul 1988. Robert recently met Olympic hopefuls to celebrate the opening of a £1.2m ‘super’ hockey pitch where current students took on University alumni. Dr Abu Yilla, who has two bachelor’s degrees from the university, also took the bronze for track in the Paralympic Games the same year.
Deng Yaping who won four table-tennis Olympic championships between 1992 and 1996 has certainly left a legacy here at Nottingham, with the Deng Yaping Sports Scholarship being named so in her honour. Deng Yaping was challenged to a match by English actor and film producer Benedict Cumberbatch last year. Unsurprisingly, Cumberbatch lost.
Athens 2004 saw Campbell Walsh win the silver medal for the Canoe Slalom, bringing us to Tim Brabants. Tim graduated from medicine in 2002 and up until 2013 Tim won two bronze and a gold medal for his canoeing and remains Great Britain’s most successful Olympic Canoeist. As well as his own successes, Tim went on to inspire and train further Nottingham students and alumni for London 2012, including gold medallists Etienne Scott, Tim Baillie and two-time silver winner David Florence. Tim retired from sport to continue his medical career in 2013. Also at London 2012, Anne Panter triumphed taking the bronze in Hockey.