TWO champion Fife athletes have been named on an initiative offering high-level support ahead of next year's Paralympic Games.

West Fife track star Owen Miller, and Kirkcaldy's Ben Sandilands, have both been offered membership to UK Sport's Paralympic World Class Programme for 2023/24.

A total of 41 competitors have been awarded access to the programme, which is UK Sport's National Lottery funded initiative that supports the delivery of success at the Paralympics and other major championships.

The Paralympic World Class Programme is split into three levels - podium, podium potential and confirmation 0- that reflects that the actual, and potential, performance development levels of athletes.

West Fife star Owen, who in 2021 memorably raced to victory in the 1500 metres, in the T20 classification, and Ben, who won gold in the same event at the Para Athletics World Championships in July, have been offered places in the 'podium' level of the programme.

Athletes are nominated for the initiative to further the aim of UK Athletics to win medals at the 2024, and / or the 2028, Paralympic Games, and the organisation must be confident that those put forward have realistic potential, and have demonstrable performance capability, to make the necessary progress to achieve a medal at least in one of the next two Paralympics.

Owen and Ben train together as part of a group led at Pitreavie athletics track by their club coach at Fife AC, Steve Doig.

They both competed at the World Championships during the summer, which was held in Paris, with Owen placing seventh in the race.

"I’ve got Paris next year again (in the Paralympics), so I’ll just keep training hard, and try and get myself better again," he said afterwards.

"Paris is something to look forward to, and maybe a world champs. It’s the world champs next year in Kobe, in Japan, so that’s something to think about too."

Reflecting on his world championship success, Ben said: "I didn't really think about that (winning), I was wanting to get across the line!

"I was just more focused to get to the line if anything. It means a lot."

Tom Paulson, head of Paralympic Performance at UKA, added: "With the Paris Paralympic Games less than a year away, this is an important period for the athletes and coaches on the programme, and we look forward to working with them and seeing where the World Class Programme can support them appropriately, and where it can add value to enhance their potential as we look ahead to a Kobe, Paris and beyond to LA 2028."

Next year, the Paralympic Games will take place in Paris, from August 28 to September 8, whilst the Para Athletics World Championships take place in Kobe, Japan, between May 17-25.