DISABILITY Sport Fife is delighted to report that a new sports bursary, available to athlete members, was presented for the first time at the DSF office at the Michael Woods Sports & Leisure Centre this week and a Crossgates competitors was the recipient.

Bursaries have been provided by past Paralympian Paul Johnston from Kennoway, who represented Great Britain in Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 where he won a bronze medal.

In the words of PJ: “It’s payback for all the support I received from DSF and partners when I was competing at the highest level. Sport changed my life and offered me so many opportunities and introduced me to so many new friends all over the world.”

The first Paul Johnston bursary recipient is Kieran Steer, from Crossgates, who had a break after the Paralympic Games in Rio. Kieran is attempting to regain the form that established him as the number eleven ranked player in the BC4 class in the lead up to the Rio games.

Kieran trains at Crossgates Community Centre with support from Fife Council and the Paul Johnston bursary of £250 will help him to meet his hall hire costs.

Disability Fife president Richard Brickley said: "I met with PJ, Kieran and Kieran’s coach, Cat, prior to the photo call and the two athletes shared lots of stories about their experiences to date and plans for the future.

"PJ was, as always encouraging, enthusiastic and inspiring and Kieran was massively appreciative of PJs advice and bursary support. Another solid Fife sports friendship has been established.

"Disability Sport Fife (SCIO) members can now access Bill Pullar bursaries, Russell Hogg bursaries, Association of Fife Rotary Clubs bursaries, Order of St John Fife bursaries, St Andrews Kilrymont Rotary bursary and now the Paul Johnston bursaries.

"In addition throughout the year there are incidental bursaries that are awarded by individual supporters of DSF who on most occasions wish to remain anonymous.

"These monetary awards assist DSF members greatly to achieve their full potential in Para sports by helping them with training and competition costs. Para athletes are also supported by Fife Sports and Leisure Trust under the talented athlete scheme and Fife Council through grant aid. Many thanks to all the agencies that provide essential support for athlete members".