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Past and present University of Chichester students carry the Olympic Torch

29 May 2012

University of Chichester students past and present carried the Olympic torch as the flame continued its 70-day, 8,000 mile journey across the British Isles.

University Of Chichester_Caitlin Kennedy

Talan Skeels-Piggins, who trained to be a PE teacher at the University, represented Great Britain in the 2010 Winter Paralympics - achieving the goal he set himself after he was left a paraplegic in 2003 following a motorbike accident.

The 41-year-old carried the Torch through the city of Bath on Tuesday 22 May after being nominated by one of his former pupils who said that "if anything, he is more of an inspiration after his accident than before, as he has never given up".

Talan was also awarded an honorary Masters of Arts degree by the University last year and he now runs The Bike Experience charity, teaching disabled motorcyclists to ride again using specially-adapted bikes.

Meanwhile, current university student, Caitlin Kennedy (pictured left), carried the famous flame through her home town of Chester on Tuesday 29 May.

The 19-year-old was nominated by the Cheshire School Sports Partnership for the volunteering work she carried out for them, organising activities for five years while still being a student herself. She was also a vocal campaigner to save the partnership and secure more funding when it was threatened with closure.

Caitlin ran the torch leg towards Chester Racecourse and was cheered on by family and friends, as well as teachers from her former school.

She said: "It is an absolute privilege to have carried the torch and it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

To take part in the torch's visit to Chester, Caitlin had to make a 520-mile round trip from her university, as the date coincided with her end-of-year exams. Having carried the torch on Tuesday evening, she then had to travel back to Chichester for another exam on Thursday.

Other current University of Chichester students taking part in the relay include final year adventure education student Lauren Harris, who will be a torchbearer in Bournemouth on 13th July and first year sports coaching science student, Megan Munro, who will be carrying the flame in Chatham on 20th July.

By Stuart Appleby

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