Aston university: we’re supporting our olympic star

20 July 2008 – for immediate release

Staff and students at Aston University will have their hopes pinned on one Olympic star this August – their library receptionist come professional high jumper, Tom Parsons (Hall Green, 24).

Tom Parsons, who works part-time at Aston University’s library, is jetting out to China next week with hopes of returning with a medal. The Olympic contender has been on part-time reception duties at the university for two years – a role that allows him to balance a hectic training schedule with a flexible job.

With less than two weeks to go until he lands in Beijing, Tom is gearing up for the big event with a meticulous technical training programme. Combining running, jumping, weightlifting and intense physiotherapy, his intense and self-named ‘power training’ fits nicely into his time off work.

Tom Parsons, Olympic high jumper and library attendant, Aston University, said:

“I love to be busy and it’s great that Aston University have allowed me to squeeze a part-time job into my rigorous training schedule. I really enjoy my time at the University and the staff and students have been so supportive. Last year they raised nearly £3000 to pay for my coach to join me at the IAAF World Championships in Japan – a gesture that meant so much to me.

“I’m on top of the world at the moment. I feel at my optimum best, fitness wise, and can’t tell you how excited I am about representing Great Britain in the Olympics. My training is going really well, so provided I can keep improving my flexibility, technique and power and the weather conditions are right on the day, I stand an outside chance of winning a medal.”



Anne Perkins, Tom’s Supervisor and Library and Information Services Co-ordinator, Aston University, added:

“Tom is a popular, likeable and modest member of staff and an excellent face of the library, working much of the time on our reception. The library staff are all tremendously proud of him and very excited about this opportunity he has to represent his country.”

Tom starts his Olympic schedule on the 3rd August with a ten day warm-up in Macau. He flies out to Beijing for his qualifying round on 17th August where he’ll be joined by his PE Teacher girlfriend and six family members and hopes to make it to the finals on 19th.


For more information contact Laura Plotnek, University Communications Team, Aston University on 0121 204 4549 or prtemp@aston.ac.uk.


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