Born in Inverness, Scotland, Stephen moved to Perth as a young child. He continues to live and train there. He attended Robert Douglas Memorial Primary in Scone, completing his school education at Perth Academy. He is currently swimming full time and has suspended his academic studies to concentrate on his sporting career
He learned to swim with LiveActive Leisure's teaching programme at Perth Leisure Pool. One of his friends, who was swimming with Perth City Swim Club, suggested he come along to a Club tryout session. He joined age 9, and has been competing with the Club ever since. LiveActiveLeisure, which manages Perth's public sports facilities, continues to support Stephen through the trust's Talented Athlete Scheme.
The bulk of Stephen's current weekly pool training regime takes place at Perth Leisure Pool with his coach, Ann Dickson.
He is a member of the Perth and Kinross Swimming Performance Squad. The P&K Performance Squad provides additional training time with regular 50m sessions at the National Swimming Academy, Stirling
Stephen's swimming programme receives support within Tayside from the local Leisure Trusts, with a dedicated training lane twice weekly at Perth Leisure Pool, supported by Live Active Leisure, and two sessions per week in Dundee's 50m Olympia training pool, supported by Leisure and Culture Dundee. He also trains once a week with the University of Stirling Swim Team with his coach, Ann Dickson, and with additional support from UofS coach Steven Tigg, and has one session per week at the University of Dundee's on-campus pool.
As a member of the Scottish Senior Gold Squad, Stephen has received support from the team at Scottish Swimming and the Scottish Institute of Sport via the Tayside and Fife Institute of Sport since 2011. The dedicated team at TFIS manage his physical preparation work at Dundee University's Institute of Sport & Exercise, and coordinate his physiotherapy and lifestyle support programmes.
Stephen received support through the Winning Students Award Scheme from 2012 to 2016
Following a successful summer in 2014, Stephen was selected to the British Swimming World Class Podium Squad, through which he was supported by National Lottery funding via UKSport, and the performance team at British Swimming. His continued progress and commitment was recognised with his reselection to the squad for the 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons
Ann has been Head Coach at Perth City Swim Club for over 20 years, and has coached Stephen in the pool since he joined the club. She is a former President of the Scottish Schools Swimming Association. In 2014 Ann was a member of the Team Scotland Aquatics coaching team at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. She reprised this role as a member of the coaching team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia
2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow