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  • Writer's picturePhil Packer

Olympian, Commonwealth medallist and World and European Junior Champion, Steph Twell, joins BRIT

We are delighted that Steph has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.

Steph is a middle ​to long-distance athlete who, in addition to competing at the 2008 and 2016 Olympic Games, has ​most recently been selected to represent Team GB at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in the marathon distance. From her junior years, winning gold at the World and European Junior Championships over Cross Country and the track, she was a bronze medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and 2016 European Championships. Steph has continued her successful senior career by becoming a five time British 5km champion and British 10km champion, before running a Scottish national record over the marathon distance (2:26.40) in 2019. Steph is now looking forward to preparing for the Olympic marathon, whilst also encouraging others to pursue their goals and journeys.

Steph Twell - Olympian, Commonwealth Games medallist and World & European Junior Champion

“Having been a student at both St Mary’s University, Twickenham and Winchester University, and working in the community with schools, colleges and students, I am passionate about improving the mental health, wellbeing and fitness of young adults; with the additional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a critical time to provide support.

We have to find ways to ensure that all students and young adults receive appropriate support when they are facing mental health challenges and it is absolutely vital that we signpost young adults to the support and services available to them.

The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) have been striving to support young adults for many years. They have evolved to become a collaborative charity with the clear ability, diplomacy and determination to unite the charity, education and sports sectors through their annual BRIT Challenges. By working in partnership, or building special relationships, with governing bodies, universities and colleges, they are having a UK-wide impact on improving young adult mental health.

BRIT has a unique approach and I applaud them for partnering with PAPYRUS – Prevention of Young Suicide, Nightline Association, Student Minds and the Charlie Waller Trust so that all donations raised by the BRIT 2021 Challenge will be shared equally between five mental health charities who support students and young adults. They are also championing Samaritans and Shout so that young adults are signposted to support should they need it.

I am in admiration of their vision to deliver inspiration by inviting Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities to unite in support of young adult mental health and join their BRIT Ambassador family. There is potential for every UK university and college to be supported by a BRIT Ambassador if we come together; I urge my fellow athletes to join me and support a university or college of their choice to encourage students to take part in BRIT’s annual challenges.

I have chosen to support universities that I have an affiliation to, and colleges that are near to where I live and work. look forward to encouraging students and staff at Winchester University, St Mary’s University Twickenham, University of the Creative Arts (Farnham), University of Surrey, Farnborough College of Technology, and Farnborough 6th Form College to take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge.”

Steph Twell - BRIT Ambassador

Between 2006 and 2009, Steph completed her BSc in Strength and Conditioning Sport Science at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

In 2006, Steph competed in the World Junior Championships and won gold at the European Junior Cross Country Championships in San Giorgio, Italy. She also won gold as part of the Great Britain team.

She secured a back to back gold at the 2007 European Junior Cross Country Championships in Toro, Spain and her second gold as part of the Great Britain team.

Steph won the 1500 metres at the 2008 World Junior Championships, her third title at the European Junior Cross Country Championships and for third consecutive year, was once again part of the gold medal winning Great Britain team.

In 2008, Steph was named European Athletics Rising Star and went on to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

At the European Junior Cross Country Championships in Dublin, Steph won gold as part of the Great Britain U23 team.

Steph came 4th in the 5000 metres and won bronze in the 1500 metres at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi; that same year, she set a personal best for the 1500 metres in Barcelona which she went on to improve when competing in Zurich.

In 2010, Steph competed in the 5000 metres in Brussels and smashed her previous best by 22 seconds, setting a new Scottish Record that had been held by Yvonne Murray for 15 years.

After suffered a fractured ankle whilst competing in a cross-country race in Belgium in 2011, Steph sustained a further foot injury in June 2012 that ended her campaign to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

In 2014, Steph represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and in 2015, competed at the World Championships in China.

Steph competed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and that same year, won bronze in the 5000 metres at the European Championships in Amsterdam and silver at the European Cross Country Championships.

Between 2016 and 2017, Steph competed her PGCE Primary at Winchester University.

In 2017, Steph represented Great Britain in the 5000 metres at the World Championships and in 2018, represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in both the 1500 metres and 5000 metres.

Steph won the London 10,000 metres in 2018 and 2019. That same year, Steph represented Great Britain at the World Championships where she competed in the 10,000 metres.

Since 2018, Steph has worked as a Lifestyle and Behavioural Change Intervention Coordinator and also as a Community Lottery Sport Representative with Rushmore Borough Council. In October 2020, Steph was elected to serve as a member of the UK Athletics Athlete’s Commission.

Steph is a member of Farnham and District Athletic Club, is self-coached and is currently training at the University of Houston, USA.

To find out more about British Athletics, please visit their website.


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