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Cambridge University student Alex Petter earns British Universities & Colleges Sport national accolade

University of Cambridge club personality of the year Alex Petter. Picture: University of Cambridge (34049092)
University of Cambridge club personality of the year Alex Petter. Picture: University of Cambridge (34049092)

Alex Petter’s efforts for Cambridge University Cycling Club have been recognised on a national level.

The 22-year-old former Perse School student, who is now studying at Magdalene College, has won the British Universities & Colleges Sports Dan Porter Award.

Petter, who is from Linton, was a joint winner of the accolade, along with the University of Edinburgh’s Ellie Wolfe.

It is named after former Sheffield head of sport Dan Porter, who died of cancer in 2018, to recognise an individual or group who has faced and overcome adversity and/or disadvantage to positively impact others.

Petter was the winner of the University of Cambridge sports club personality of the year award, and in that nomination was described as having a transformational impact on the cycling club.

During his year as president, he created a positive and supportive club culture to oversee an increase in membership, all while facing health issues and having specialist treatment for cancer during 2019, even organising things while in Manchester for radiotherapy.

He was also ride leader last year and responsible for organising all levels of rides.

That honour earned nomination for the BUCS prize, which Petter won last week.

“I wasn’t aware that the university sports service had put me forward for this,” said Petter.

“They got in touch to say I had been shortlisted, that was news to me and a very pleasant surprise that it all turned out well.

“The standard of sport at the university level is pretty staggering sometimes.

“Ultimately it is the best sports people from that age group, and there are so many different clubs and so many people involved.

“There are so many different people putting a lot of effort into making these things happen so I was very proud to be recognised on that level of platform.”

Under normal circumstances, the winners of the 13 different categories would be revealed at the annual BUCS conference.

However, with the exceptional situation this year, they were revealed on social media.

“I was refreshing my Instagram news feed on my phone waiting for it to come up,” said Petter.

“I was going out for dinner, and while I was waiting I knew I would find out either some really good news or some disappointment.

“I listened to it about three times to make sure [it was him] as I didn’t want to get the wrong end of the stick, and celebrate prematurely, as it were.”

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