10th June 2016

Neill And Ruddock To Captain British Team At Ipc Athletics European Championships

10 June 2016

Holly Neill (coach: Andrew Roda) and Sam Ruddock (Jim Edwards) will captain the British Athletics team at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Grosseto, Italy starting tomorrow morning.

Neill won world bronze in the F41 discus in 2013 but will be competing in the first Europeans event of her career. The Yeovil-based athlete will compete in the discus on Wednesday but first she will have the honour of captaining the women’s team in the Italian city.

Neill said on the selection: “I’m totally honoured to be asked to be team captain for the IPC Athletics European Championships. There are a lot of experienced team members included in the squad so to be asked, I’m chuffed. I’ve been to two world championships now so I do have experience of this team setting so hopefully I’ll be able to give the debutants any guidance that they need.

“My preparations coming into this competition have been going really well. I feel it is the best start to the season I’ve ever had – I got a personal best early this year and I have been hitting my targets already before this competition.”

After a personal best in the IPC Athletics World Championships F35 shot put final last October led him to fifth position, Ruddock has gone from strength to strength in the event.  His upbeat attitude and stature within the team has seen him earn the role of men’s team captain. Ruddock competed over the sprints at the Paralympic Games in 2012 but four years on, he has progressed into one of the most competitive shot putters within the F35 event and will be looking for a strong result in Grosseto.

On his captaincy, the Loughborough-based athlete commented: “I am beyond proud – to be told I would captain this squad during this year was such a shock. When Paula (Dunn) pulled me to one side to tell me I genuinely thought I was in trouble. I had to ask her to repeat the question just to make sure I wasn’t hearing things!”

A modest Ruddock added: “There is so much experience and talent on this team – I would put them ahead of me in terms of their nature and the way they act. Of course I’m proud, to even represent Great Britain is an honour but to captain your country is something really special.

“I have to thank my coach Jim Edwards for his continued support and those who are always in my corner. They have helped me to get into this position and I hope I can continue to make them proud.”

Head Coach Paula Dunn spoke about why she chose Neill and Ruddock to lead the 48 strong-team at the IPC Athletics European Championships.

Dunn said: “Holly and Sam both bring great qualities to the role of team captain. Both have valuable experience on a number of GB teams and have a strong mind set and attitude which will inspire the rest of the squad.

“The IPC Athletics European Championships will be a key stepping stone for a number of athletes targeting the Rio Paralympics later this year but also acts as an enriching experience for those team members looking ahead to the World ParaAthletics Championships in London during 2017 and Tokyo 2020. It is an exciting team and I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform on the European stage.”

The action gets underway on Saturday 11 June with seven Brits in finals competing for European medals. Paralympic champions David Weir (Jenny Archer) and Richard Whitehead (Keith Antoine) also start their campaigns at the championships in the T54 5000m semi-finals and T42 100m semi-finals respectively.

Unfortunately Stef Reid (Aston Moore) has had to withdraw from the women’s T44 long jump with a slight oblique injury which is been treated as a precaution in the build up to the Rio Paralympic Games in September.

Additionally Kadeena Cox (Brian Scobie) has been reclassified to a T38 review, as has Dylan Harris (Adrian Brown) following the regular classification process carried out by the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) prior to the championships for an athlete with a review status classification.

There will be a live stream of all the coverage on the Channel 4 website at C4.com starting on Saturday morning at 9am UK time. 


The full British Athletics team for the IPC Athletics European Championships in Grosseto, Italy:

Senior men

James Arnott (Ryan Freckleton) – T47m 100m

Joshua Bain (Paul Welch) – F37 Discus and Shot Put

Graeme Ballard (Trevor Painter) – T36 100m and 200m

Daniel Bramall (Rick Hoskins) –T33 100m

Jonathan Broom-Edwards (Fuzz Caan) – T44 High Jump

Mickey Bushell (Jenny Archer) – T53 100m and 400m

Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks) –T54 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay

Aled Davies (Ryan Spencer-Jones) – F42 Shot Put and Discus

David Devine (Adrian Webb) –T12 1500m

Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes) – F41 Javelin and Shot Put

Mitchell Dutton (Philip Peat) – F38 Javelin

Toby Gold (Jenny Archer) – T33 100m

Dan Greaves (John Godina) – F44 Discus

Dylan Harris (Adrian Brown) – T38 100m and 200m

James Hamilton – (Mark Kirk) – T20 800m and 1500m

David Henson (Roger Keller) – T42 100m and 200m

Josh Howard (Joe Frost) – T38 Long Jump

Jordan Howe (Keith Antoine) – T35 100m and 200m

Mo Jomni (Jenny Archer) – T53 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay

Nathan Maguire (Steven Hoskins) – T54 200m, 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay

Stephen Miller (Ros Miller) – F32 Club Throw

Stephen Morris (James Thie) – T20 800m and 1500m

Stephen Osborne (Jenni Banks) – T51 100m and 400m

Jonnie Peacock (Dan Pfaff) – T44 100m

Ben Rowlings (Job King) – T34 100m, 400m and 800m

Sam Ruddock (Jim Edwards) – F35 Shot Put

Zac Shaw (Joe McDonnell) – T13 100m and 200m

Andrew Small (Rick Hoskins) – T33 100m

Isaac Towers (Peter Wyman) – T34 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m

David Weir (Jenny Archer) – T54 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 4x400m relay

Richard Whitehead (Keith Antoine) – T42 100m and 200m


Senior women

Olivia Breen (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) – T38 100m, 200m, Long Jump and 4x100m relay

Jo Butterfield (Philip Peat/Shona Malcolm) – F51 Club Throw

Kadeena Cox (Brian Scobie) – T38 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay

Vanessa Daobry (Alison O’Riordan) – F34 Shot Put

Sabrina Fortune (Ian Robinson) – F20 Shot Put

Kylie Grimes (Philip Peat) – F51 Club Throw

Sophie Hahn (Joseph McDonnell) – T38 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay

Georgie Hermitage (Paul MacGregor) – T37 100m, 200m, 400m and 4x100m relay

Abbie Hunnisett (Anthony Hughes) – F32 Club Throw

Jade Jones (Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson) – T54 400, 800m and 1500m

Maria Lyle (Tabo Huntley) – T35 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay

Erin McBride (Robert Roberts) – T13 100m and 400m

Holly Neill (Andrew Roda) – F41 Discus

Gemma Prescott (Mike Wood) – F32 Club Throw

Laura Sugar (Femi Akinsanya) – T44 100m and 200m

Carly Tait (Rick Hoskins) – T34 100m, 400m and 800m

Amy Wareing (Jim Edwards) – F38 Discus