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Paralympian highlights top careers available through UTC

Posted on 21 May 2014  - 12:00

Spurs fan and London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist, Richard Whitehead MBE, says he could not compete at an elite level without the support of sports engineers.

Whitehead is a double amputee who uses flex runs, or prosthetics, to compete on the track and has praised the work of the technicians behind him.

The opportunity to be at the forefront of designs such as this for future Paralympians is just one of the careers available through studying at Tottenham UTC (TUTC).

Specialising in Technology and Science for Sport, Health and Engineering, TUTC is accepting current Year 9 and 11 students to begin their studies once it opens in September.

And Whitehead, who won 2012 Paralympic gold in the T42 200m, as well as competing in the London Marathon, has stressed the importance of the people who work with him behind-the-scenes.   

He said: “I’m an athlete who trains hard in the gym and on the track, but I need certain pieces of equipment to enable me to do that.

“The technology really complements us as athletes and there are a lot of people in the background, not only coaches, soft tissue therapists and doctors, but also the people who support the prosthetic side of who I am.

“It’s really important that they feel part of the team so that I can get the best of their expertise, and they can see the rewards of my success on the track.”

Focusing on the technology that has been key to his success as an athlete over the years, Whitehead continues: “The flex runs I use are made of compressed carbon fibre that replicate the calf and hamstring muscles that provide me with the force to move forwards.

“I work with the prosthetic company to enable me to get the most out of my training, and a lot of the time that involves them visiting me at training with new technologies and seeing if they complement my training.

“The careers that are available are not just sports-specific. For me, there are prosthetists, people on the engineering side – it’s very important that these people are respected and supported in their journeys because they’re providing me with the success that I have.

“I’m up there on the podium winning the medals, but there are people who are manufacturing the prosthetics and supporting the development of the prosthetics.”

For your chance to be part of the success at the next Paralympic games and be at the forefront of innovative design, apply to Tottenham UTC today.

Visit tottenhamutc.co.uk for more information, and follow us on Twitter @tottenhamutc