Rugby sprinter to compete in France next month
Paralympic sprinter Sam Ruddock will be taking on the best in the world again next month.
Selected to the Great Britain squad for the second time, he will be competing at the IPC Athletics World Champioships in Lyon, France, from July 19-28.
Currently ranked 8th in the world at 100m and 11th over 200m, he is looking forward to both T35 events, for athletes whose balance and co-ordination is affected by cerebral palsy.
Last weekend in Berlin Sam, 23, ran a wind-assisted 100m personal best time of 13.71s, showing consistency over his stronger distance to maintain a place in the team.
The former Bishop Wulstan and Rugby School pupil was only spotted by a sprint coach just before Christmas 2011 during American football training at Loughborough University.
Until then he had never thought about becoming a sprinter, let alone competing at London 2012.
“I’m excited and I do feel extremely proud to be have been given the chance to represent Great Britain again,” he said.
“It’s all been a bit of whirlwind over the last 13 months but if I perform the way training has been going, there’s no reason to suggest I won’t make a final and reward the faith the selection team have put in me.
“I’m a little bit nervous as I know I have to perform well and prove my credentials.
“But I know I have the capacity. Between now and the championships I will be doing a lot more training, working on my speed and tightening up my technique, polishing my drive and transition to make sure it’s all like clockwork.”
The entire competition is being televised by Channel 4.
Since graduating from university last summer, Sam is now working for the Youth Sport Trust as an athlete mentor on the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme.
One of 70 sports star mentors from a range of sports, it involves going into secondary schools and running workshops and practical sessions, inspiring youngsters with the knowledge that good practises for sport cross over into education, boosting confidence, life skills and levels of achievement.