Essex cyclist Alex Dowsett awarded honorary degree by Anglia Ruskin University
- Credit: Archant
Essex’s own professional cyclist Alex Dowsett was the proud recipient of an honorary degree from Anglia Ruskin University yesterday.
The British, Commonwealth and European cycling time trial champion, who has ridden in the Tour de France, was made an Honorary Doctor of Health Science by Professor Iain Martin, university vice-chancellor, during a ceremony at Chelmsford Cathedral.
Dowsett, who attended Elm Green Preparatory School in Little Baddow, and King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford, is the only able-bodied elite sportsperson in the world with haemophilia.
As well as his sporting success, which include the under-23 British and European Time Trial Championship and five British National Time Trial Championships – two more than Sir Bradley Wiggins – the former member of Chelmsford Swimming Club and the Maldon and District Cycling Club has also set up the charity Little Bleeders, which supports young haemophiliacs.
Dowsett said: “This award is massive. I finished school and never got the chance to go to university because I was straight into full-time cycling.
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“On top of that with my haemophilia a lot of my career is spent trying to inspire young haemophiliacs to prove what they can do with the condition.
“It’s a message to anyone with any kind of adversity or set-back you have to make the best of it. Sometimes we’re dealt a bad hand and it’s how you choose to live your life with that hand that really makes or breaks you.”
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Professor Martin said: “Alex has demonstrated the courage, commitment and personal sacrifice required to overcome challenges and succeed at the very highest level.
“He will be an inspirational role model for all our students – particularly for those studying Sports Science and Sports Coaching.
“We are delighted to welcome Alex to our Anglia Ruskin community.”