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In 2019, Cyrille Tchatchet II made the list of refugee athletes awarded with a scholarship by the International Olympic Committee. This scholarship gives him the opportunity to train and take part of national and international competitions. Cyrille felt proud to be an example that being a refugee “does not make you less of an athlete”.

Cyrille has had a difficult past. His fear of deportation and his low self-esteem have all threatened to drag him into depression. Yet, with the support from friends, family and nurses, he managed to overcome these challenges. His decision to go back to studying was due to a desire to “give back” to the community that had helped him. Middlesex University was an “excellent choice” according to Cyrille. This was based on the success of our nursing courses and sports teams. He said that he had been looking for a university that could facilitate his interests in both academics and sports, and that Middlesex University was ideal for this. Giving up weightlifting had never crossed his mind and Middlesex was the only university that offered a nursing course and a weightlifting club that he could be part of.

Despite the nature of the sport, Cyrille describes himself as “calm” and “shy”, with a “polite” nature. He was drawn towards nursing because of the reward of making “a difference in somebody’s life”. For the final project in his course, he investigated the effects of physical exercise on depression and the role of the mental health nurse.

He now holds an offer to pursue a master’s course from Middlesex University where he can develop his research in this field.