Nathan Stephens helping coach future Wales para-athletes

Nathan Stephens
Nathan Stephens lost both legs following a childhood accident on a railway track

Former Paralympian Nathan Stephens is aiming to help the next generation of Welsh disability athletes.

The 27-year-old was the F57/58 javelin world champion and record holder going into the London 2012 Paralympics but his throwing style was judged illegal.

The rule changes meant he was no longer able to compete at the top level, so he has now taken a coaching role with the Disability Sport Wales Academy.

"Being a coach is a lot different from being an athlete," Stephens said.

In his new position as Talent Officer, Stephens - who also represented Great Britain at sledge hockey - now works alongside his former coach Anthony Hughes.

"I've already apologised to Anthony for how I used to wind him up in sessions!" Stephens told the Sport Wales website. "I've promised him I now realise why he used to put me through some of those painful training sessions.

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"It's been a steep learning curve. The biggest challenge has been coaching people I was a training partner with, people I call friends.

"It's a difficult balance to get the authority, instruction and information across, but we're all working for the same goals and I want to help the group as much as I can.

"I'd like to think my experience and the achievements I've had through my career are helping and I can give some of that back.

"We've got a group of elite athletes in Cardiff and we've set up a talent academy in Carmarthen. There's also a junior section that we're building up as the next generation of talent for future Games.

"I want to build my career as coach and make as much of an impact on the athletes as possible."