Lauren Steadman: BUCS Hall of Fame
It’s that time of the year again when the British Universities and College Sport (BUCS) conference takes place. This year, the conference has taken place from 4-7 July at the University of Warwick. This event essentially provides a round-up to the year or sport, celebrating sport and physical activity in higher education, and paving the way for the future. Members of the Sport and Recreation team here at the University of Portsmouth have attended the event this week and were delighted to hear that UoP alumni and former sports scholar Lauren Steadman MBE is the latest addition to the BUCS Hall of Fame to celebrate her dedication to sport and her extensive range of sporting achievements.
The BUCS Hall of Fame
In 2019, BUCS introduced the Hall of Fame to celebrate the centenary of British university sport. The Hall of Fame acknowledges an individual's dedication and achievements in sport.
Those already included in the BUCS Hall of Fame include Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Roger Bannister CH CBE, Dr. Deng Yaping, and many more. Find out the full list of those in the BUCS Hall of Fame and the reasons for their induction.
Who is Lauren Steadman?
You probably already know or have heard about Lauren Steadman and her sporting achievements, but in case you haven’t. Lauren is the most successful female paratriathlete in the world over past 10 years. Lauren was born without her lower right arm. Although, as a child she wished she had two arms, overtime, she has come to love being unique and enjoys taking on the challenges it has presented. She studied at the University of Portsmouth achieving a 1st class honours degree in Psychology at undergraduate level and a distinction in Business and Management at postgraduate level. Lauren was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Portsmouth in 2021. She went to two Paralympic Games whilst at university and competed in the BUCS Swimming Championships during her time at the University of Portsmouth.
Between 2012 and 2016 Lauren competed in both Europe and across the World in Paratriathlon clocking up an impressive 16 Gold medals and 2 Silver medals. Lauren competed in her third Paralympic Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 this time competing in the first-ever Paratriathlon to be included in the Paralympics, and she took home a silver medal. Lauren would be a consistent feature on the podium in the following two years with five gold medals in the five major events she entered in 2018, while also securing 2 silver medals. This success guided her to win at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final on the Gold Coast in September 2018. Although impressive, this does not account for all that Lauren Steadman has achieved. You can find all of her biggest sporting achievements below.
Lauren's sporting achievements
You can find all of Lauren's sporting achievements on the official British Triathlon website.
Lauren is a true inspiration who has overcome so many challenges. We pride ourselves on supporting talent and aiming to be the best we can be, which is exactly our long-term goal – to be the top modern university. It’s wonderful to celebrate Lauren’s sporting endeavours, her entrepreneurial success, her humble personality and approachability. She is an inspiration to me, the university community, to women and to those with a disability.
Lauren’s impact on the sporting industry
As well as Lauren’s astounding sporting success, she has also had an extremely important impact on the sporting industry as a whole, reaffirming how deserving she is of the BUCS Hall of Fame.
Lauren has been a hugely influential sports personality using her success and disability to engage and inspire others to achieve their best. Lauren supports many charitable causes and spends a lot of time working with schools and children with disabilities. Lauren was awarded an MBE for services to sport in 2022. Lauren spends a lot of time talking to children within schools inspiring them to challenge themselves not just physically but academically.Lauren has been a key presence in Portsmouth celebrating and promoting the city, its sporting facilities and raising the profile of the Portsmouth. A key advocate for the University of Portsmouth, Lauren is influential in allowing student-athletes to chase their academic and sporting aspirations proving that success in both fields is achievable.
Lauren has appeared in a number of reality TV shows to remove the stigma of disability and to inspire others to become activity excelling in this field. Lauren reached the Semi-Finals of Strictly Come Dancing, where she became the first-ever female disabled contestant. Lauren also took part in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, where she became the first female winner of the show jointly awarded with Locksmith from Rudimental.
She also does a lot of work presenting and was a key part of the Channel 4 Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics presenting team raising the profile of Paralympic sport.
Lauren has set up her own company called SIZU minds which specialises in Mindset and High Performance training with a focus on mental wellbeing. During the pandemic lockdown, her company helped raised nearly £20,000 for the charity Mind. SIZU minds delivers training to individuals and businesses to recognise the importance of mental wellbeing while striving for excellence - something Lauren has acheived across her career.
Lauren’s ultimate aim is to work with injured service people who may have lost limbs to support them through rehab using her experience and mindset to give them the best possible recovery and future.
University of Portsmouth Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith said: “Lauren is a true inspiration who has overcome so many challenges. We pride ourselves on supporting talent and aiming to be the best we can be, which is exactly our long-term goal – to be the top modern university. It’s wonderful to celebrate Lauren’s sporting endeavours, her entrepreneurial success, her humble personality and approachability. She is an inspiration to me, the university community, to women and to those with a disability.”
We couldn’t be more proud of Lauren and to have been able to accompany and support her throughout her sporting career and university. We hope that Lauren continues to inspire current and up and coming athletes to get involved in sport and for other successful athletes to use their platform in such a positive way.