London Colney mum raising £2,500 to support son’s 2019 Olympic dreams

Thomas Miller. Picture: Oaklands College.

Thomas Miller. Picture: Oaklands College. - Credit: Archant

A London Colney mum is attempting to raise £2,500 to support her son at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi next year.

Thomas Miller, 23, received a place at the games on the equestrian team after winning two silver medals at the National Games in Sheffield last year.

His mum, Susan, said: “I am very proud as I did not think we would get this far. If you said this to me five years ago I would have said it was never going to happen.

“At the moment I have said we cannot go, but we would love it and it would mean a lot to Thomas as he enjoyed going to Sheffield and to go and see him [in Abu Dhabi] would be amazing.”

Susan, who lives in London Colney with her two sons and partner, started a Go Fund Me page to help pay for Thomas’ three weeks in the United Arab Emirates capital and thanks to an anonymous donor and £200 from London Colney Parish Council, she has now raised the necessary £2,500.

However, she is still looking for money so members of Thomas’ family can join him in Abu Dhabi, as well as additional cash to send him to training sessions, such as one in Scotland in September.

“He does not get any funding from anyone so we have to get whatever money we can off our own backs,” the 47-year-old said.

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Thomas started riding when he was eight years old, and now volunteers every day in the equine centre at Oaklands College, caring for its 24 horses and helping in the day-to-day running of the stables.

He achieved a level one in equine studies from the college in 2016.

Thomas was diagnosed with oral dyslexia when he was younger and suffers infrequent absence seizures, otherwise known as petit mals.

He trains with the Special Olympics team at Oaklands College in St Albans with teammate Lucy Warne from Royston, who was also selected for the team.

The two are now undergoing special training, involving competition practice, working on improving their skills, and preparing for a learning test as part of their assessment at the games.

Britain is sending 129 athletes to the games to compete in seven days of 24 sports, including badminton, bocce, golf and powerlifting. They will be joined 7,000 athletes from more than 170 countries.