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7 June 2012

Former CAVC student makes Olympic qualifying time

The 4x100 Shanghai Paralympian gold medallist and former Cardiff and Vale College sport student, Stephen Morris, has achieved the Olympic qualifying time for the 1500 metres for the London 2012 Paralympic games.

Stephen, 23, is a former Foundation Diploma in Sport student at the College’s Trowbridge site in Rumney who then progressed to the Level 3 BTEC in Sport. He has dyspraxia, a condition which can be known as “clumsy syndrome” and affects approximately six per cent of the population through impairing language, spatial awareness and thought, but he has worked hard to overcome his disabilities and the cruelty of other children in his younger years.

Now as a full time athlete, Stephen trains at Cardiff Athletics Club with his Coach Chris Moss several times a week. He has achieved the qualifying time for the 1500 metres T20 event (for athletes with an intellectual impairment) and hopes to be selected for Team GB when they announce their selections in July. Athletics is the largest sport on the Paralympic programme and Stephen could possibly be one of the 1,100 athletes competing for one of the 170 gold medals available at the London 2012 Paralympic games.

Last month, Stephen ran in the Olympic Stadium at a test event for athletes where he achieved the second fastest qualifying time in the 1500 metres T20 category. Before he hears if he has been selected for the British Paralympic team on July 8th, Stephen will be competing in the Welsh Championships in Leckwith Stadium. Stephen, who is from Rumney said: “I’m over the moon to have reached the standard, it feels great and I hope I can get faster before the selection in July. I gave it my all in London to impress the selectors. I’m looking forward to hearing if I’ve been selected for the team. The selections are made on the athlete’s performance throughout the year and hopefully I’ve done enough and will be in with a chance of winning a medal.One day, I hope to become the 1500 metres Paralympic champion and make it big in athletics.

Alyson Gauregui, Stephen’s former sport lecturer at Cardiff and Vale College said: “Stephen was a lovely student, a pleasure to teach. He was always very enthusiastic, self-driven and motivated and with a commendable determination to achieve with regards to his academic studies. No barrier or obstacle was ever too challenging and his quiet determination is testament to where he is today.”