Dutton retains SSE Next Gen place

Mitchell Dutton

Mitchell Dutton - Credit: Archant

St Albans’ Mitchell Dutton insists it is all systems go for the 2016 Rio Paralympics after his world domination saw him once again named on the SSE Next Generation programme.

The 19-year-old – who competes in the F38 discus and javelin – set a new junior world record on his way to a gold medal at the World Junior Games in August, with a mammoth effort of 39.73m in his first appearance for Great Britain.

This performance convinced the powers-that-be that Dutton was well deserved of a second year on the SSE Next Generation programme.

The programme supports 100 promising athletes with mentoring and funding, with St Albans AC’s Dutton heading to the launch last week where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy, as well as Darren Campbell and Judy Murray.

And Dutton is now turning his attentions to bigger and better things as he focuses on the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

“In the middle of last season I was staying at the same level but then I got chosen in July to represent GB at the World Junior Games,” he said.

“I was meant to throw with the under 20s but the people in charge thought it would be better for me to go with the under 23s and I won gold there. I added two metres to my personal best which is now 39.73.

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“It was an unreal experience and I was so full of joy and was nervous at the same time because I’d never been to anything that big really.

“I’m training for the Paralympics as well now so there are lots of goals ahead. I want to retain my title at the juniors and then at the worlds I want to put myself in with a chance of a medal.

“I feel like I’ve got a good chance to do that now because I’m throwing better than I ever have before.

“The Paras are the main goal and I think my chances are good and if I got chosen it would be a dream come true really and a great experience for me.”

And Dutton is convinced that the help and support he receives from the SSE Next Generation programme can help him realise his dreams.

“The scheme gave me great confidence to be open and talk to people and do interviews, it really helped with travel costs as well and equipment,” he added.

“It gave me the confidence to be where I am today really and it’s been a huge help, it’s been brilliant and I’ve learned so much this year.

“I feel really honoured to be reselected and to be part of this scheme is awesome.”

SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen