CRAMLINGTON’S Stephen Miller is looking to lead from the front as he prepares to take part in his fifth Paralympics Games.
And the 32-year-old paralympian has been named a male captain of Team GB.
He flew in from Team GB’s training camp in Portugal last weekend for Wednesday’s opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.
Tweeting from the training camp in Portugal he said: “Immensely proud to be male captain for the GB athletics team. #letsdothis.”
Stephen added: “I’ve been doing this sport for 16 years, which makes me feel really old, but when Peter (Eriksson, head coach) told me I was team captain I was so honoured.
“I’m truly proud going into the Games as part of this team.
“That’s testament to everyone on the team and how hard they’ve worked, and it shows the strength and depth of disability athletics in Britain.
“It’s scary, but it’s supposed to be.
“You have to be nervous, but use those emotions in a positive way.
“We’ve all made sacrifices to be here, but we only have one opportunity; now we have to take that opportunity.”
Stephen is determined to win another gold medal, this time in front of his home fans, after winning three gold medals in the club event at Atlanta, Sydney and Athens, as well as a silver medal at the last games in Beijing.
He will be competing in the F32 club event at the Olympic Stadium on Friday morning, hoping to be on the podium when the medals are presented later in the day.
Before flying out to Portugal, he dropped in to Newcastle United’s training facility in Benton where he met players, staff and manager Alan Pardew.
A keen United fan, Stephen was given a Newcastle United top by Pardew as well as some words of encouragement and support.
Stephen also had one last training session in the Lifestyle gym at Concordia Leisure Centre, where he has trained for a number of years.
He complements his paralympic training with regular sessions at Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure’s Lifestyle gym, which he opened in 2008.
Stephen said: “The gym facilities at Concordia are great.
“This is my local gym, and training there allows me to focus outside of my specific athlete training in a friendly, relaxed and welcoming environment.”
Colin Winfield, manager at Concordia, said: “All the staff are looking forward to watching Stephen compete in the Paralympic Games.
“Stephen is a regular and very popular customer at our centre, and we are delighted and proud to have such a successful paralympian using our facilities to train.
“We would all like to wish Stephen the very best of luck at the Games and look forward to welcoming him back in September – hopefully with another well-deserved medal.”
The TV screens in Concordia’s Lifestyle gym will show live coverage of Cramlington’s very own local hero when he competes on August 31 from 10am.