Steven off to States on a Special mission

Steven Bryce (centre) with dad Alan (right) and coach Tommy Boyle

Steven Bryce (centre) with dad Alan (right) and coach Tommy Boyle

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Motherwell-based middle distance runner Steven Bryce has been selected to compete for Great Britain at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles next year.

The 18-year-old from Cambusnethan trains with the successful Tommy Boyle Athletics Squad and is a member of Glasgow’s Victoria Park AC.

Bryce, a former pupil at Firpark School, has global learning delay. He is currently a student at Motherwell College on the NQ Horizon course.

He is given tremendous encouragement by dad Alan, mum Lorraine and sister Nicole. When he was 11 they took him to the local club where coach Julie Boyle taught him the fundamentals of athletics.

His progress has been consistent, having improved his times at both 800 metres and 1500 metres every year from 2005. In 2012 and again last year he won the Scottish National Disability Cross Country.

Last year Bryce was selected for the Scotland West squad for the GB Special Olympics in Bath where he won gold medals in the 800m, 1500m and 4x400m relay.

He has continued his progress in 2014, being selected for the Scottish Disability squad, and now has the ultimate accolade of Team GB selection for the world event in LA in July 2015.

Tommy Boyle, who has coached world class track stars including Scotland’s Tom McKean, Yvonne Murray and Susan Scott, said: “Our ethos is ‘success through sustained effort in everything we do’ and Steven lives that ethos.

“He gives 100 per cent in everything he does and does it with a smile. He reminds me of Peter Meechan whom I coached to win gold in the pentathlon at the 1990 Special Olympics in Glasgow “

Bryce trains at Ravenscraig, Dalziel Park and Wishaw Sports Centre under the watchful eye of his dad, mentored by coach Boyle.

Boyle added: “Steven is now on a schedule designed to help him prepare for Los Angeles.

“It will be a learning experience at that level, but longer term there is no limit to what he can achieve in athletics.

“He is surrounded by a group of parents and coaches who encourage the athletes in everything they do.

“He is the first of the young group to reach UK level and his world selection will inspire more of his training partners to become the very best they can be in athletics and, more importantly, in life.”