Northumberland Paralympian Stephen's surprise visit to school

Paralympian Stephen Miller with youngsters at his surprise school visit.
Paralympian Stephen Miller with youngsters at his surprise school visit.

A Northumberland Paralympian thrilled youngsters when he paid a surprise visit to their school.

Six-time Paralympic medallist Stephen Miller, from Cramlington, showed off his medals and took part in a question and answer session when he called in at Emmaville Primary School in Ryton, Gateshead.

The 36-year-old’s visit came as part of a series of special school visits by top British athletes as London 2017 Ltd, the International Paralympic Committee, the IAAF and Blue Peter search for a six to 15-year-old to design one mascot for the World Para Athletics Championships and one for the IAAF World Championships London 2017.

Participants have until Friday, February10, to submit their drawings with the best 30 designs advancing to a second round of judging. The lucky winner is set to be announced live on Blue Peter on Thursday, April 20, and receive a special Championship package.

Stephen, who claimed his sixth career Paralympic medal with bronze in the club throw at Rio 2016 last summer, said: "I had a great time with the pupils at Emmaville Primary School. I really enjoy going into schools like this one and giving an insight into my career as well as inspiring young people to get involved with sport.

"The children were really engaging and asked some great questions. It is fantastic to have the World Para Athletics Championships in London and hopefully they will be encouraged to watch and become more active.

"There was a lot of interest in the mascot design competition and I love the idea of one of them potentially becoming part of the Championships in that way."

Emmaville headteacher Avril Armstrong said: "It was very exciting to have Stephen take time out of his training to come to our school. It was a great opportunity for the pupils to learn about such a successful local athlete and also gain an insight into what it takes to get to the top of sport.

"Stephen was gracious and enjoyed a good laugh or two with the pupils. He is a credit to athletics and, inspired by his visit and being from the North East, we’ll be following him closely all the way to the Championships."

The World Para Athletics Championships run from July 14 to 23, at the London Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with the IAAF World Championships following at the same venue from August 4 to 13 to mark the biggest sporting event of the year.

The biggest event to be staged at the London Stadium since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is the first time both Championships have been held in the same city with over 3,000 athletes from over 200 nations competing over 20 days of action. Tickets are now on sale at tickets.london2017athletics.com