One Door Closes, Another Opens for Fife Ambassador

Stefan with Rio 2016 mascot

Stefan Hoggan has for many years been a most committed Disability Sport Fife (DSF) member and a superb ambassador for disability sport locally and nationally. Stefan recently decided to stand down from high performance Para sport but retain his involvement in sport as a coach and a member of the Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) Young Persons Panel.

Stefan’s first swimming teacher at the Fife Sports Institute described him as the fastest learner he ever had the pleasure of working with. Within a couple of weeks of being introduced to the learn to swim programme in the Institute small pool he was swimming on his back and front without support and within a matter of months ready for his first gala.

DSF galas prepared him for SDS national junior championships and a place in the Scottish junior squad for the British Championships soon followed. Stefan enjoyed an illustrious career as a junior and senior Para swimmer and as a member of Carnegie Swimming Club. The dream of Paralympic and Commonwealth Games selection eluded him but it was not through lack of effort and a major commitment by himself and his family.

Stefan then turned his attention to Para triathlon and fully committed to training north and south of the Border and the three disciplines of this very arduous sport. With support from British Triathlon and Triathlon Scotland, Stefan ran in GB colours in a few major international meets and made steady progress during his short time in the sport. His best performance was in his final event and that was on home soil at Strathclyde Park prior to the Rio Paralympic Games. It was not however good enough to push him up the GB rankings and challenge for the one team place that was available.

Yet again the ex Bell Baxter HS pupil had given this project his best shot and along the way mastered two new disciplines to add to his considerable expertise as a swimmer. Some of us were not surprised when he did manage to get to the Rio Games as a guest of a friend and soak up the atmosphere which is synonymous with such a great occasion.

Since standing down from high performance Para sport Stefan has been a busy young man. Swimming teaching and coaching are his new passions and he has been fortunate to secure a lifeguard position with the Fife Sports and Leisure Trust. Stefan signed up for the SDS inclusive coach programme, supported by Sports Coach UK and sportscotland. The programme has offered him a coach mentor and access to resources at a critical period of his career.

Having secured his first Scottish Swimming qualification Stefan was fortunate to access six hours of coaching time with Carnegie SC and the Orcas squad. Stefan also hopes to become a swimming teacher with the Fife Sports and Leisure Trust and also make use of the coaching qualification he secured while working with Triathlon Scotland . He is already preparing for his next qualification (Level 2 swimming coaching) while at the same time retaining some sessions with Rowlands Pharmacy where he has worked for many years. Stefan is grateful to the support offered by the Pharmacy throughout his high performance sporting career.

Stefan recently was deservedly short listed at the 2017 East Fife Sports Council Awards Evening and is enjoying time away from the intensity of high performance training. Competitive sport has been an important part of his life for almost two decades and during that time he has made many friends and enjoyed many wonderful sporting experiences.

Family is hugely important to Stefan and family members have always played a major role in his life in general and sport specifically. Stefan always has something new on the go and his latest project is running in the Edinburgh Marathon on 28th May to raise funds for Cash for Kids.

DSF wishes Stefan well and congratulates him on a super sporting career to date. As the next chapter of his life unfolds I am certain he will have a successful career as a teacher and coach.

Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife