Gregg Stevenson is a Paralympic rower in the PR2 category, and I was delighted to interview him about his sporting career.

Before becoming an incredible athlete, Mr Stevenson was a Royal Engineer, fighting in Afghanistan. Whilst there, he stepped on an IED, and as a result had to have both legs amputated-one above, and one below the knee. After his recovery, he became involved in rowing and found his love for the sport after competing in the Invictus Games in 2014. He said that the transition into rowing was quite easy due the adaptability of the sport for those with disabilities. Being in the PR2 category for rowing means that the seat is fixed, and rowers power the boat through their arms and upper body. Gregg Stevenson competes in this category with his doubles partner Lauren Rowles.

The highlight of his career so far has been winning the 2023 world rowing championships in Serbia in a mixed double. He said sometimes it does feel surreal to be a world champion. However, Stevenson also said that another highlight was coming back to rowing after leaving for a while, and the feeling of joy being back on the water, and training alongside others again.

I asked Mr Stevenson about the importance of a positive mindset in sport, and whether or not it was a challenge to ever stay motivated. He said that sometimes when it is cold and dark in winter, it is slightly less enjoyable, but he said, ‘hard work in winter makes you go quick in the summer!’ and I couldn’t agree more! Currently Gregg Stevenson and Lauren Rowles are working towards the 2024 Paris Paralympics and have an excellent chance of winning.

My final question to Gregg was what advice he would give to young athletes with disabilities, and he said to find something you enjoy. He believes the benefits of sport are incredibly important, for example the social connection and having a purpose and discipline. He also thinks it is important to ‘live in the now’ and take things at your own pace. Finally, he said it is also so important to thank those supporting you and be grateful to those who you rely on to be there for you.