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Alumni of the month – May 2015

Shaun McKeown
BSc Computer Studies, 2003

Robert Humphreys

Inspired by his love of cycling, Shaun McKeown dedicated himself to a gruelling training regime after watching the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. He made his Paralympic debut at London 2012 where he won silver in the C3 Individual Pursuit whilst also competing in two events on the road.

With 6,000 people cheering him on, Shaun knew expectation levels were high amongst an electrifying atmosphere in the Velodrome. As everyone waited for the medal race, no-one could truly appreciate the journey it took to get there: “Every fibre of my body and mind was tested along the way. I knew I needed the performance of a lifetime. People compare it to the feeling of going to war and that was the moment when I realised I was representing Great Britain.”

Before joining the British Cycling Academy Programme, Shaun worked as a database developer after graduating on the BSc Computer Studies at LSBU: “I chose to study there as the Informatics department had a great reputation and I could structure the course according to what I enjoyed academically.” Completing the degree was the first time he achieved a personal goal and, looking back, this moment proved to be a springboard for future triumphs: “LSBU gave me the confidence to ask myself hard questions about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do with my career.”

Encouraged by his brother and father to pursue cycling as a teenager, Shaun joined his local club and never looked back: “The camaraderie, zipping down a hill and riding faster than anyone else, coming home absolutely shattered...this is what embodies everything I love about the sport.” Shaun’s skill and courage enabled him to see the world on a bike, with some unforgettable experiences along the way.

Last year, he decided to hang up the wheels to concentrate on developing himself as a personal trainer: “Looking back, I can say that I gave it everything and I'm so glad I embarked on this journey as it has changed my life and widened my horizons.”