Chippenham sports clinic Active Potential Therapy is working with multiple-medal winning Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Millward as she aims for selection for her fourth Paralympic Games in Japan next year.
With a history of helping local elite athletes, including members of the record-breaking British Skeleton team and England Women’s rugby player Sydney Gregson, Active Potential Therapy began giving regular sports massage treatments to Stephanie last year.
Her success at the British Trials in Glasgow last month means she will go on to compete at the 2019 World Para-Swimming Championships in London this September.
Samantha Bramley, owner of Active Potential Therapy, said: “We’re so excited to be supporting Stephanie in her efforts to represent Great Britain again at Tokyo 2020. Watching sport at a high level is so fundamental in joining communities together.”
Aged 16, Stephanie was British National 100m Backstroke Champion and just 18 months away from the Sydney 2000 Olympics, when she started to suffer with symptoms including temporary paralysis, blindness, difficulty balancing and even walking. It took six months for the specialists to diagnose Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Thereafter, Stephanie continued to endure these symptoms, battling chronic pain and depression, even to the point of avoiding swimming pools for 10 years. Her love of swimming returned when she taught a friend to swim.
Within months, Stephanie competed in Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, and four years later went on to win five medals at London 2012 and a further five, including two coveted golds, at Rio 2016.
Stephanie, who is an unfunded athlete and relies on local support, said: “With the level of training I am doing, whilst still battling with my MS, the soft tissue treatments I receive have allowed me to make unbelievable progress both in the pool and in the gym. I couldn’t be happier approaching the British Trials and I can’t thank Sam and her amazing team enough for aiding my fitness, recovery and ability to train every day.”
Away from training and doing her part-time book-keeping job, Stephanie is patron for two charities (Just4Children and MS Society) and ambassador for a further six. She was awarded the Freedom of the Town of Corsham in 2013 and made an MBE in 2016.
Anyone wishing to donate can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gostephanie.
Pictured: Samantha Bramley, of Active Potential Therapy, with Stephanie Millward