College hosts Sporting Champions visit

Paralympian visit reward for competition  win.

Birmingham Metropolitan College students in the Black Country benefited from a special Sporting Champions visit from Paralympic athlete Sam Ruddock.

Sport, Uniformed Public Services and Foundation Learning students studying at Birmingham Metropolitan College’s Stourbridge Campus received the prize visit after winning a competition to receive one of Sport England’s Sporting Champions.

Sporting Champions is a Sport England initiative bringing world-class athletes face-to-face with young people and young adults to inspire and motivate them.

Sam, 22, made his Paralympic debut at London 2012, competing in both the T35 100 metres and 200 metres races. His first major race was the Charnwood Open in Loughborough in April 2012 after his potential was spotted by an athletics coach when he was training with an American Football team.

James Cox, Sportmaker at Birmingham Metropolitan College, said:  “We’re absolutely delighted that we’ve won this competition and it was a real honour to host a visit by a Midlands sporting champion. Sam has overcome a lot of personal difficulties, having been born with cerebral palsy, to achieve his goal of becoming a first class athlete and he has been an inspiration for both staff and students today with his positive outlook and natural enthusiasm in championing sport.”

Sam spent the afternoon at the Stourbridge Campus, giving students advice and guidance on getting involved in sport and having a go at new activities as well as one to one talks with individual groups about success and potential career opportunities in sport.

Sam said:  “I really enjoyed this exciting event at Stourbridge Campus. I’m hopeful that by using the Olympic and Paralympic stardust that remains in the air from London 2012, I motivated everyone in attendance to take up the sport on a permanent basis and continue to inspire even more people to take it up long-term.”

Tom Rourke, studying for a BTEC Sport at Level 3, said:  “Sam’s presentation was inspirational and gave me food for thought on what I can actually achieve if I put my mind to it. I was really impressed with his commitment and positive approach to life.”