Millie’s going for gold and setting her sights on Rio 2016

It’s a new academic year which means we have a fresh batch of scholars here at Edge Hill University and our big awards evening is fast approaching – I can’t wait! It has been great meeting so many of the new scholars at enrolment and Freshers week, so I thought it was about time that I started introducing them to you all!

Firstly, meet Millie Forrest. Millie has just started studying BSc (Hons) Coach Education. She was awarded the Sports Scholarship for Prospective Students at Gold level. I’ll let Millie tell you the rest!

My name is Millie Forrest and I am a disabled athlete who competes in the shot put and discus. In 2012, I was classified as an F37 thrower (F37 means athletes who have Cerebral Palsy). I started competing in 2012 for Wigan Harriers at lots of different competitions all around the country. I am currently ranked 2nd in the UK at both discus and shot put in my classification.

At the start of 2014, I was selected to be a part of the British Athletics Parallel Success Academy which is designed to help potential athletes reach the top and become Paralympic athletes by giving them extra training. Then, a few months later, I received a letter from British Athletics saying that I had been selected to represent Team GB at the IWAS World Junior Games in August. The games were at Stoke Mandeville, which was also the venue for the very first Paralympics event in 1948. This experience was so surreal and amazing. Proudly wearing the GB vest was such an honour and such a great feeling. The GB team consisted of athletes who had competed at the Commonwealth Games the week before and also athletes who had competed at the London 2012 Paralympics too. So, for me to be in the same team as them was overwhelming.

I came away from the Games with a gold medal in the shot put and a silver medal in the discus. It was my first international competition so I never expected a medal at all, I was just going to enjoy the experience and see where that would take me. However, to come home with two medals was just mind-blowing; I was so happy.

I was also selected to compete for the North West at the Sainsbury’s School Games which were held in Manchester in September. This was another great competition to be a part – not only did I win gold at the School Games but I also got a massive personal best in the shot put too. As well as participating in the competition, I got to take part in the opening ceremony and I met some incredible athletes such as Katrina Johnson-Thompson (heptathlon), Ellie Simmonds (paralympic swimmer) and Sam Ruddock (London 2012 Paralympian) who spoke to the athletes about their careers and what they did to get where they are today. So, overall 2014 has been a great year for me!

My ultimate ambition would be to get selected to represent Team GB at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. In the mean time, the opportunity to attend some more international events would be so good and competing around the world would be incredible too. I am training really hard at the moment. I train six times a week doing various different training sessions such as circuit training, weight training, throwing drills etc. I am determined to get to the Paralympics one day and I am fully focused on achieving my goal. I have never let my disability stop me from doing what I love I have just got on with my life like anybody else would.”

The video below features Millie being interviewed at the World Junior Games: