Amy Johnson statue unveiled in Hull

amy-johnsonA statue of Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from the UK to Australia, has been unveiled in Hull.

Actress Maureen Lipman unveiled the statue, built to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the pilot’s death.

It also marks the end of the two-month Amy Johnson Festival in East Yorkshire in celebration of her life.  More

‘Queer history’ landmarks celebrated by Historic England


Oscar Wilde’s former home, the estate of “the first modern lesbian” and a memorial to a trans spy have been given special status by Historic England.

Six “historic LGBT venues” landmarks are being recognised for reflecting England’s “queer history”.

Chief executive Duncan Wilson said the influence of men and women “who helped build our nation has been ignored” because they came from minority groups.  More

Alumnus Tom Dingley brings his #Outcome project to Greenwich

outcome-background-1#Outcome is a project that showcases portraits of gay, lesbian, bi and transgender (LGBT) people from a variety of different professions and with a variety of different passions. Each portrait includes a printed photograph, chosen by the models, of themselves as a child, to help demonstrate their transition from the child they once were, to the adult they became after their experience of ‘coming out’.    More

Universities to hide applicants’ names in anti-bias trial


Universities are going to test “name-blind” admissions for the first time to stop potential discrimination based on assumptions about students’ names.

Exeter, Huddersfield, Liverpool and Winchester will pilot a system this year where the names of applicants are not seen during admissions.

The aim is to stop “potential bias” about students’ race and identity.  More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – September 2016

Sarah Storey

The Paralympics starts on 7 September 2016 and with this in mind we have chosen Sarah Storey as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month

Sarah is a road and track racing cyclist and former swimmer, multiple gold medal winner at the Paralympic Games in both sports, and three times British (able bodied) national track champion. Her total of eleven gold medals makes her the equal of Tanni Grey-Thompson and Dave Roberts, considered among the most successful British Paralympians. Her list of major achievements also include being a 27-time World champion (5 in swimming and 22 in cycling), a 21-time European champion (18 in swimming and 3 in cycling) and holding 72 world records.

She was born without a functioning left hand after her arm became entangled in the umbilical cord in the womb and the hand did not develop as normal.  In 2007 she married tandem pilot and coach Barney Storey and in June 2013 gave birth to a daughter.

Sarah began her Paralympic career as a swimmer, winning two golds, three silvers and a bronze in Barcelona in 1992. She continued swimming in the next three Paralympic Games before switching to cycling in 2005, reputedly because of a persisting ear infection. At the 2008 Paralympic Games, her fifth, she won the individual pursuit – in a time that would have been in the top eight at the Olympic final – and the road time trial.

She also competes against non-disabled athletes and won the 3 km national track pursuit championship in 2008, eight days after taking the Paralympic title, and defended her title in 2009. In 2014 she added a third national track title with a win in the points race. She qualified to join the England team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she was the first disabled cyclist to compete for England at the Commonwealth Games, against non-disabled cyclists. She was also the second Paralympic athlete overall competing for England at the Games, following archer Danielle Brown earlier in Delhi.

In 2011, she competed for one of the three places in the GB squad for the women’s team pursuit at the 2012 Olympic Games. Although she was in the winning team for the World Cup event in Cali, Colombia in December 2011, she was informed afterwards that she was being dropped from the team pursuit squad.

At the London’s 2012 Paralympics Games she won Britain’s first gold medal, in the women’s individual C5 pursuit. She went on to win three more gold medals, one in the Time Trial, the Individual Road Time Trial and finally one in the Individual Road Race.

In 2014, Sarah and her husband Barney Storey founded the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International women’s amateur cycling team, supporting the charity Boot Out Breast Cancer. The team fielded squads in the 2014 and 2015 British road race seasons.

In 2015 she attempted to break the world hour record at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London. She set a distance of 45.502 km, which was 563m short of Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel’s 2003 overall world record – however the distance did set a new world record in the C5 Paralympic cycling class as well as a new British record.

In 1998 she was awarded an MBE and following the Beijing Games, she was awarded an OBE. In 2012, she was awarded an honorary degree by the Manchester Metropolitan University and following the 2012 London Games, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours.

Sarah was a nominee for the 2008 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability and the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

In June Sarah was selected for her 7th Paralympics and will be aiming to retain the four titles she won in London.

Just another University of Greenwich blog