Eastbourne College – Paralympic hero visits Eastbourne College

06 Mar 2019

Eastbourne College had the pleasure of hosting Paralympian Joe Townsend and coach Dr Gary Brickley for a training session in their new pool.

The 25 metre pool, built to exacting Sport England standards and benefitting from Swiss touch-pad timing systems, was the ideal training venue for this home-grown hero.

Born in Eastbourne, Townsend is a Commonwealth Champion, former Royal Marine Commando, Ironman UK triathlete, Ironman World Champion and winner of four gold medals at the Invictus Games 2014. At London 2012, Joe carried the Paralympic Flame into the stadium starting from the Orbit Tower and falling from 350 feet in a controlled descent via a zip-wire. At Rio in 2016, he made his Paralympic debut in triathlon, securing a sixth place PT1 finish and is widely regarded as one of the best para-triathletes in the world.

Dr Gary Brickley, an expert swimmer, having swum across the English Channel in under 12 hours back in 2016, is a GBR Paralympic coach and senior lecturer at Brighton University. He has helped the likes of Sarah Storey, the most decorated female Paralympian of all time (14 gold, eight silver and three bronze medals) and makes important contributions to academia and sport through scholarly journals such as the International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching.

It was an inspiration and an honour to have Joe and Dr Brickley training alongside our own pupils, and we hope to build even stronger links in the years to come.