Six-time Paralympian and three-time Paralympic Gold medallist, Stephen Miller MBE, joins BRIT
We are delighted that Stephen has joined our BRIT Ambassador family and is championing the BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult and student mental health and fitness throughout the UK.
Stephen has competed for over 25 years for Great Britain in Para athletics. He has competed at six Paralympic Games, seven World Championships and seven European Championships, winning 19 medals and 10 titles. Stephen is also founder of the charity SMILE through Sport.
“Having lived with disability all my life, I am passionate about how disabled people can access the same opportunities as everyone; especially through sport. There are 13.9million disabled people in the UK which makes up of 22% of the overall population. As one of the 13.9million, I know how important it is to be fully included in society. Determined to involve more disabled people in sport, my wife, Rachel, and I founded the SMILE through Sport charity in the North East of England.
As a former student at Northumbria University, and having spent over 25 years competing and training with young elite athletes, I know that we must do more now to proactively prevent mental health challenges faced by young adults and also support students in order to avoid them facing long-term mental health difficulties.
I love the way the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) are a collaborative charity and have forged partnerships and special relationships across the education, sport and charity sectors to have a positive UK-wide impact on young adult and student mental health and fitness. It’s great to see that the British Olympic Association (BOA), BOA Athletes’ Commission and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) are all endorsing and supporting BRIT.
The annual BRIT Challenge is a feelgood February fundraiser for every university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams and encourage student and staff participation. I hope that every university and college throughout the North East will enter teams and take on the BRIT Challenge. I’m thrilled that the BRIT Challenge is inclusive and enables students and staff of all abilities to take part and work as a team to cover the 2,022 mile distance by either hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding).
I am honoured to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family to promote the BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion. I urge my fellow Paralympians, from all sports, to join our BRIT Ambassador family and assist in encouraging universities, colleges and students to take part in the annual BRIT Challenge. I would be delighted to support and encourage students and staff at Northumbria University as they take on their BRIT Challenge and would be most grateful if they, and other universities and colleges in the North East, would consider choosing SMILE Through Sport as their second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT ”.
Stephen Miller MBE BSc Hons, HON DCL
Six-time Paralympian & three-time Paralympic Gold medallist
Stephen graduated from Northumbria University in 2002, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Information Systems. He has been a professional athlete with British Athletics since 1995 and is coached by his mother.
Representing Great Britain in the F32 Club Throw, Stephen won three consecutive Paralympic Gold medals at the 1996 Paralympic Game in Atlanta, the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney (where he also won bronze in the F32 Discuss Throw) and the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. At the 1996 Paralympic Games, Stephen became the youngest Great Britain Paralympian or Olympic Track and Field athlete to win gold; he was 16 years old. At the 2004 Paralympic Games, he won the event with a throw of 33.53 metres; he beat the World Record set in 2000 by over seven metres. All six of his throws were long enough to secure gold medal.
In 1998 (Birmingham), 2002 (Lille) and 2006 (Assen), Stephen won the consecutive gold medals in the F32 Club Throw at the World Championships. He also won silver in the F32 Discus Throw at the 2002 World Championships in Lille.
Stephen won gold in both the F32 Club Throw and F32 Discus Throw at the 2003 European Championships in Assen. He also won gold in the F32 Club Throw at the 2005 European Championships in Espoo. That same year, Stephen won gold in both the F32 Club Throw and F32 Discus Throw at the 2005 Cerebral Palsy World Championships.
Stephen was World Record Holder in the F32 Club Throw from 1997 to 2008.
In 2008, Stephen won silver in the F32 Club Throw at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
At the 2011 World Championships in Christchurch, Stephen won bronze in the F32 Club Throw.
Stephen was the Great Britain Athletics Team captain at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. He has endured hip problems that required surgery and doctors thought Stephen would take about a year to recover. Not wanting to miss his home Paralympic Games, Stephen competed through the pain and failed to qualify. He underwent hip surgery following the Games and due to the new Paralympic Committee riles that stated only athletes projected to medal at the next Games were funded, Stephen’s funding was cut. That same year, Stephen won gold in the F32 Club Throw at the European Championships in Stadskanaal.
At the 2014 European Championships in Swansea, Stephen won silver in the F32 Club Throw.
With the physical hip problems he had endured in London 2012 , Stephen was determined to be on the podium at the next Paralympic Games. In 2016, Stephen represented Great Britain at his sixth Paralympic Games in Rio where he won bronze in the F32 Club Throw. That same year, he won bronze in the F32 Club Throw at the European Championships in Grosseto. A year later, Stephen won bronze in the F32 Club Throw at the 2017 World Championships in London. IN 2018, he won silver in the F32 Club Throw at the European Championships in Berlin.
Stephen was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2016 New Years Honours for services to sport.
Outside of his elite athlete career, between 2003 and 2016, Stephen was Web Developer at the Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.
In 2013, Stephen founded the charity SMILE Through Sport with his wife, Rachel, to create more opportunities for disabled people to become more involved with sport and get regularly active. Stephen is the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Founder of the charity.
Since 1998, Stephen has been Secretary of the Newcastle United Disabled Supporters Association (NUDSA).
Stephen is also an experienced speaker and combines a wealth of stories and experiences, together with a humorously positive outlook on life. He is also a Positive Mindset Coach and hosts online experiences, teaching the power of positive thinking, visit airbnb.co.uk/thinkpositive to learn more.