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Tuesday 6 June 2017

Primrose's year of sporting success

A student inspired by the London 2012 Paralympics has won ‘Contribution of the Year’ at Solent’s annual Sports Awards.

Primrose Kavanagh is going into her third year studying BSc (Hons) Applied Sport Science at Solent, and won not only for her performance within the university’s ladies basketball team, but also for her voluntary coaching role within the Solent Sharks wheelchair rugby club.

Her role within Solent Sharks has developed from helping with training drills to developing game-based coaching sessions. Last year, Primrose was promoted to coaching the new junior squad, and has led them in their last two sessions.

She says: “It’s absolutely incredible to have won the award. It just shows that the hard work I put in was rewarded and that makes me want to put more effort into it – planning better lessons and just going for it.”

Primrose Kavanagh with her award

To celebrate her year of success, we asked Primrose a few questions relating to her time at Solent.

How have you been finding your course?

There’s a lot to it, but I enjoy it, especially the psychology aspect. I remember in my first year, we were doing physiology and we had to take blood. It was only a finger prick, but putting it into a tiny little glass tube and testing it for glucose made me feel like an actual scientist. There are so many different parts within the course that have made me think “wow!”

For my dissertation, I’m hoping to look at motor imagery training on athletes with cerebral palsy – that’s something that really interests me. As coach for the wheelchair rugby team, I’ve noticed they struggle in learning game plays, so I’m really interested in using psychology and imagery training to try and make it an easier process for them.

What made you decide to volunteer with the wheelchair rugby team?

The London 2012 Paralympics made a massive impact on me. Through college I started doing work experience at a local disability school within sport. I find it really rewarding – I love helping people and giving my time.

So, when I first came to Solent, I went to Solent Futures and asked what they could offer me in terms of volunteering. They mentioned wheelchair rugby, so I started doing that in the December of my first year. Last September I was made junior coach, which was great.

What advice would you give to those starting Solent in September?

Solent offers experience – take it! I had no confidence but knew I needed the experience and there aren’t many universities out there that have as many contacts as Solent. Volunteering is another part of university; working with the wheelchair rugby team has helped me so much with my course.

Plus, definitely join a sports team – it really increases your social network.

What are your plans for after university?

What would be ideal is to get an internship into the Paralympic industry. I definitely want to work within disability in sport.