Stephen Miller wins’ bronze at IPC European Championships ahead of SMILE Athletics Festival


grossetto2Paralympian Stephen Miller won a bronze medal at last week’s IPC European Athletics Championships held in Grosetto, Italy. Competing in the F32 Club Throw event, Miller needed to throw a season’s best to get into the medals and did so with a best throw of 30.92 metres to secure 3rd place. He pushed Greece’s Nikolaos Gonios into 4th place in a high quality competition that saw the World Record broken twice and saw every competitor throw either a season’s best or personal best.

It was the 5th IPC European Athletics Championships, and Miller has competed in all 5, winning 4 golds, a silver and a bronze.

This summer marks 20 years since Miller won gold at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta at the age of 16 years and 91 days, becoming the youngest ever track and field gold medallist for Great Britain and Miller is aiming for his 6th Paralympic Games in Rio this September. The athletics team will be selected towards the end of July.

Stephen returned from Italy and immediately turned his attention to the Start to SMILE Athletics Festival taking place on Tuesday 28th June at Middlesbrough Sports Village. The event which is part of SMILE Through Sport’s Sport England funded project and is in partnership with Middlesbrough Active Sports, will provide opportunity to disabled youngsters to get quality athletics coaching. They will also get the opportunity to meet and challenge Stephen Miller. 7 schools are signed up to the event with over 80 young people taking part.

Stephen Miller said “I’m pleased to win another major international medal and the season’s best shows I’m moving in the right direction but I feel there’s so much more in there. It was a high quality competition and was fun, it’s great that I can mix it with the top guys. We’re just starting to get my sitting position right and I think we’ll see improvement in the next few weeks.

I’m very excited about the SMILE Athletics Festival, there’s going to be a lot of young people there and it’s important we give them the best experience possible. Athletics has given me so much, and events like this give young people the opportunity to engage with sport and hopefully it can be the start of a journey for them.”