20 September 2007 – for immediate release
Aston University staff and students have recently raised £2,876 to support part-time Aston Librarian Tom Parsons in the finals of the IAAF World Championships in Japan.
Staff and students from all across the University are huge supporters of the high jump ace and worked hard to raise the money to send Tom’s coach to join him in the finals of the competition. Fayyaz (Fuzz) Ahmed has been Tom’s coach for two years and it meant a great deal to the high jumper to be able to have his coach at the competition on what turned out to be the most important day (so far) in his sporting career.
‘It was a great encouragement to have a familiar face watching me and making sure I was mentally prepared for every possible situation. Fuzz has great belief in me and was a positive influence throughout qualifying and the final. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped make his trip to Osaka possible,’ said Tom.
Tom surprised everyone as he leapt into the final of the competition after initially being ranked 37th out of 39 in the competition. He came in tenth place overall and also smashed his personal best record by jumping an impressive 2.29m.
‘I am really happy that I exceeded my own expectations in Osaka. I proved to myself that I can jump well when it matters most and beat some of the best guys in the world, he said.
The main organisers of Aston’s fundraising operation included Jill Lambert, Anne Perkins, Nick Smith, Emma Hurcombe,Denise Clueit, and Anna Gilbert. The campaign team placed posters of Tom throughout the University and donation buckets in Woodcock Sports Centre, Lakeside Halls of Residence and the University Library. A money ladder was also placed in the library to illustrate the campaign’s progress.
To congratulate Tom on his achievement, the library held a celebration for him which was attended by Vice-Chancellor Professor Julia King. In addition to the funds raised by staff and students, a generous donation organised by Prof King on behalf of the University was made towards the campaign.
Before the competition started, Tom spent 12 days preparing and acclimatising to the weather in a camp in Macau, China, before going on to spend six days in Japan.
For further information please contact Hannah Brookes on (0121) 204 4549.
Above: Tom Parsons
Photograph taken by Edward Moss Photography