From modest beginnings in the late 1940s at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann encouraged wounded veterans to play sport as an aid to rehabilitation from spinal injury received from the battlefront. This led to local competitions, the Stoke Mandeville Games and in turn the birth of the Paralympic movement. Today, the Paralympic Games attracts national and international public support and interest. 

But what lies beneath these events is a national story of people coming together from across the UK to learn, support and compete together at a national and international level in sport. They have been directly influenced by their own community, at a local club and with the support of their friends and families. The National Paralympic Heritage Trust (NPHT) feels that these stories are as much part of the history of the Paralympic movement as the roots it has at Stoke Mandeville.

In partnership with Bradford City Council, from January 2019, our regional exhibitions will be coming to Cartwright Hall, Bradford, and Cliffe Castle, Keighley.  We are interested in collecting local stories of how people have been inspired by disability sport. Please get in touch about any memorabilia (tickets, medals, clothing, photos, programmes, personal stories) you would like to share in these exhibitions which will also be documented as part of the work we do. We would love to record interviews from past Paralympians, athletes, coaches, officials and families who have been part of the Paralympic and disability sports journey so far. 

By having regional exhibitions in Bradford and Keighley, we hope to:

  • Broaden awareness of disability heritage, activity and opportunity in the region.
  • Inspire people to take up a disability sport or support disability sport.
  • Broaden access to Paralympic Heritage cross the UK.
  • Raise awareness of the value of Paralympic Heritage in the region.
  • Ensure local Paralympic Heritage and related disability and sports heritage is recorded, safe-guarded and shared locally and nationally/
  • Ensure understanding of disability is broadened and embedded and barriers are broken down.
  • Support audience development for sports heritage.
  • Celebrate local disability sport and Paralympic History, alongside wider local disability history.

If you would like to discuss any items or stories you might have please contact Katy-Jayne Lintott, NPHT Learning and Engagement Manager by email [email protected]