4th September 2006

 

DISABILITY IS NO OBSTACLE FOR STUDENT SAILOR

 

University of Lincoln graduate Susan Flegg is on the crest of a wave after she competed in the annual European Tall Ships’ Race across the Atlantic from France to Portugal.

 

Despite being in a wheelchair Susan who has Cerebral Palsy spent a two weeks aboard the Lord Nelson, one of 80 ships taking part in the first leg of the race from St Malo to Lisbon.

 

The 21-year-old from Deeping St James in Peterborough, who is due to graduate on Tuesday 12th September at 7.30pm in Business Studies and Human Resource Management, said her disability has never deterred her from pursuing her goals.

 

“While in my final year at university I decided I needed something to look forward to, to help me get through my studies, so I applied for sponsorship from the Jubilee Sailing Trust to enter the Tall Ships Race,” said Susan.

 

“This is the second year running I’ve completed a voyage but this year was particularly memorable as it was the 50th Anniversary Tall Ships’ race. As one of the crew members I got to helm the ship and work with the rest of the voyage crew to set the sails, but we also had to wash the windows, clean the toilets and sand down the rails. It’s hard work but great fun.

 

“One of the highlights of the trip was doing an assisted climb up the ship’s foremast, which is 33 feet high. Although I didn’t make it to the top I managed to reach the first platform which was quite an achievement.”

 

Susan came to the University of Lincoln from Treloar College in Hampshire; a leading centre for young people with physical disabilities.

 

“Coming to university was a bit of a shock at first,” said Susan. “However I received a lot of support from the university’s disability service (DART) who provided me with specialist equipment such as a laptop computer and a special chair.”

 

After she graduates Susan is hoping to do voluntary work with the Treloar Trust and eventually train to become an occupational therapist.

 

For more information contact:

Kate Strawson Press Officer

(01522) 886244 kstrawson@lincoln.ac.uk

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