Development & Alumni Relations Office 


05 August 2016

A second year finance undergraduate, a Class of 2016 Computing and Information Technology graduate and an accountancy student are among those representing Team Ireland and Team GB at the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.  

Michael Robson a second year finance student, will be part of the 18-strong Men’s Irish Hockey Squad, while recent graduate David Leavy (Team GB) and student Cormac Birt (Team Ireland) will be competing in Men's Cerebral Palsy Football.

Michael, who went through a rigorous 2-month selection process, received personal and financial backing from Queen’s Sport with the team also receiving support from Queen’s towards their #OBSESSED campaign which raised over €200,000 to help with team preparations for the Games. Michael was also given academic flexibility from the School of Management to slow track his degree to give him the best chance of Olympic success.

The #GreenMachine start their campaign for glory against India on Saturday 6 August 2016.

Ready for kick off!

Downpatrick man David Leavy is set to make his debut for ParalympicsGB in Rio after first discovering 7-a-side football by watching the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

A 2016 Computing and IT graduate, David has also been supported over the past 2 years by the Queen’s Sport bursary programme and recently received further backing to acknowledge the commitment and sacrifices he has made in order to finalise his spot on the GB Team.

David captained Northern Ireland at the 2015 World Championships at St George’s Park, England and is the first Northern Irish player to be selected for the ParalympicsGB team.

Cormac Birt from Toomebridge in Co Antrim regularly competes for Northern Ireland but will represent Team Ireland in Rio. Cormac’s selection capped of a great year, combining sport with academic success. He picked up a prize from the School of Management for Academic Excellence at the annual prize giving in July 2016.

A hard-working and determined footballer, Cormac is looking forward to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. A former GAA player, he turned his hand to football in 2011 and juggles training with his studies as an Accountancy student.

Though Northern Ireland teammates, Cormac and David will face each other in the group stages when the Paralympic Games start on 07 September.

Speaking about the University’s Rio representation, Queen’s Sports Development Manager Karl Oakes said: “Queen’s Sport is hugely proud of our three Rio 2016 Olympians. Cormac, David and Michael have each successfully combined sport with their academic studies and their selection is a testament to their hard work, determination and dedication.

“This is a truly wonderful achievement and we wish them well over the next 6 weeks of competition, in what undoubtedly will be an experience of a lifetime.”

For more on Queen’s Sports visit the website or contact Development Manager Karl Oakes.

Photo caption (L-R): Michael Robson, David Leavy and Cormac Birt.

General inquiries to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office; tel: +44 (0)28
9097 5321. 


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