Three local sporting medallists took to the pitch to celebrate their Tokyo success
Pompey fans were thrilled by a surprise visit from three local Olympic and Paralympic medallists from Tokyo 2020 recently.
The three Tokyo medallists joined fans to celebrate their success. Eilidh McIntyre, took gold in the 470 sailing event, Declan Brooks won bronze in the BMX Freestyle Park and the University’s very own Lauren Steadman, University of Portsmouth alumnus and previous Sports Scholar brought home gold in the Paratriathlon PTS5.
Portsmouth Football Club - Tokyo Olympics Medallists visit fans
As the main club partner of Portsmouth Football Club, it was a natural extension to join forces with the club in celebrating the success of our local athletic talent, helping to inspire others.
Before the Tuesday night match, the three medallists joined the matchday squad at the Pompey training ground discussing their experiences at Tokyo, their motivations and how they felt about their performances.
Ahead of kick-off at Fratton Park, the Football Club’s charity Portsmouth in the Community welcomed Lauren, Eilidh and Declan to their headquarters. Wearing their Olympic tracksuits and medals, the medallists were greeted by excited local children involved in the charity’s work, taking selfies with them, chatting about their Tokyo experience and answering any questions.
I am so excited to be here at Fratton Park. To have two fellow Olympians with me makes me feel really proud, Pompey is a small place where we can create some fantastic talent.
Talking pitchside before the crowds started to fill the stadium, Lauren said “I am so excited to be here at Fratton Park. To have two fellow Olympians with me makes me feel really proud, Pompey is a small place where we have and can create some fantastic talent.”
Lauren, Declan and Eilidh, were the first out of the tunnel alongside the club mascots, welcoming the Pompey team to the pitch. The celebrations continued at halftime with a lap of honour and the medallists sharing their celebrations with a crowded Fratton Park. With medals in tow, the cheers and reactions from the crowd created a fantastic atmosphere promoting local pride.
Paul Tilley, Head of Sport at the University of Portsmouth said “They are fantastic role models. The fact that we can see them on our streets of Portsmouth, training in our facilities, running around the seafront, I think they should be a huge inspiration.”
They are fantastic role models, the fact that we can see them on our streets of Portsmouth, training in our facilities, running around the seafront, I think they should be a huge inspiration.
Although the result on the night wasn’t what was hoped for, Pompey have since gone unbeaten in their last six games. Hopefully, the inspiration of Lauren, Eilidh and Declan’s success has rubbed off on the team.
Lauren Steadman is one of our previous Sport Scholars and has long been a supporter of the University having completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Portsmouth. Our Sport Scholarships are designed to support athletes receive support to become successful athletes while balancing their studies and achieving their qualifications.
Check out our Sports Scholarship pages for more information about how we support student-athletes.