Merseyside based athletes David Devine and Nathan Maguire have been selected for the Paralympic World Class Programme (PWCP).

The PWCP is the UK’s National Lottery funded initiative which supports athletes in searching success, mainly at World/European Championships and Paralympic Games. Athletes are nominated and only those that UK Athletics are confident in achieving a medal in either one of the next two Paralympics are chosen.

The programme is split into three categories: Podium, Podium Potential and Confirmation. The three different sections determine how much funding each athlete will receive, with those in the Podium rank being given more as to further their chances of bringing home success.

Devine of Liverpool Harriers is among 18 podium ranked athletes. The middle-distance track runner has a vision impairment and most notably claimed the bronze medal in both the 800m and 1500m events at the 2012 London Paralympics. He also finished fourth in the 5000m at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Embed from Getty Images

Maguire of Kirkby Athletics Club, is in the Podium Potential category. The 25-year-old wheelchair racer’s best result to date is the gold medal in the relay at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin. He has also represented Great Britain at the 2016 Brazil and 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games, where he picked up a silver medal for the relay in Tokyo.

Tom Paulson, Head of Paralympic Performance at UK Athletics said: “The Paralympic Programme is in a strong position as we head towards Paris 2024 and LA 2028.

“(They are) focused and will be concentrating on the prospect of qualifying for the World Para Athletics Championships in Paris next July.”

As the only two from 39 nominated athletes to hail from Merseyside, the region’s medal hopes will rest with Devine and Maguire.