24th January 2013
Paralympic F44 long jump silver medallist Stef Reid (coach: Keith Antoine) is in confident mood as she prepares to line up for the GB&NI team at the British Athletics Glasgow International Match on Saturday – the first time in the event’s 25 year history that disability events have been included in the programme.
Reid, who spoke to children from Glasgow’s Corpus Christi Primary School today, will be competing indoors for the first time at the Emirates Arena is not fazed by the prospect of jumping in unfamiliar surroundings.
“I’ve never done an indoor season, so it’s something new to me. It’s quite nice because there’s no wind to contend with, which makes it that little bit easier.
“I prepared well for the meet and I don’t like losing – this is a chance to get back into competition and will help in fuel the fire and motivation, and remember why I’m training these long hours. It will be fun, but I never show up without the intention to win.”
After the success of the London Paralympic Games last year, Reid believes that hosting disability events within the British Athletics Glasgow International Match shows that there is a bright future for the sport leading up to Rio 2016 and beyond.
“I’m really excited at the prospect of competing in Glasgow on Saturday – it speaks volumes for what London 2012 achieved. For me I don’t think it’s about integration, it’s about the idea of respect and part of it is public movement.
“We have to realise that Paralympic movement is evolving and professionalising - it’s not quite where it needs to be yet, but it’s getting there. The more people that see and understand what we do, that will naturally happen.”
The 28 year old, who won bronze in the T44 200m at the Beijing Games is excited by the prospect of lining up in front of a sell-out crowd, in what will be a very proud moment for Reid’s Scottish father.
“The atmosphere in London was incredible – you finish your season on such a high and then I have a three to four month period of not competing. Just getting back to that and a home crowd is amazing - it’s going to be a full arena and we’re going to hear all the cheers, which will be great for everyone involved.
“We are so lucky to have a country that supports us like they do and wearing a GB vest comes with that expectation to perform, so it signifies we’re here and we mean business. British fans associate the GB vest with winning, and I want to carry on that legacy.
“My dad is a very proud Scotsman and even prouder Glaswegian, so it’s an honour to be here representing my roots.”
On the horizon is the IPC World Championships in Lyon in July, and Reid is determined to add a gold medal to the bronze and silver she picked up in Beijing and London.
“I’ve done really well so far in my career, but I’ve never experience the feeling to win gold at a major world competition. I want to be on the middle of that podium, singing that anthem in Lyon.”
Watch the British Athletics Glasgow International Match live on BBC1 between 1:30-4:30pm.