Visitors from a diverse range of groups

We have been delighted to welcome such a diverse range of groups to the Heritage Centre this first year. With Tokyo 2020 on the horizon we have had many Japanese visits from official government groups, to design and communication teams. It has offered us a great opportunity to share our artefacts from the second ever Paralympic Games which took place in Tokyo in 1964. Student groups from universities have visited, representing a wide range of courses, from sport to medicine, teaching to SEND, bringing their energy and questioning. Many other groups; businesses, network partners, event sponsors, young farmers and a wonderful elderly group from Birmingham, some with a connection to disability others out for a group travel tour to somewhere different. With every visit we learn and extend our own knowledge and are reminded of the power of the Paralympic heritage to change negative perceptions towards disability through a unique and inspiring international sporting movement.

Visitors having a tour of the Paralympic Heritage Centre University students having a tour of the Paralympic Heritage Centre

Students from Sport & Health Sciences, University of Central Lancashire

Dr Jess Macbeth, Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies and Research, UCLAN, said

I took a group of Year 3 Sport & PE degree students to the Heritage Centre in November 2019 and we were incredibly impressed by the talk and site tour. The students were fascinated and loved being able to see and touch some incredible artefacts, which really brought the history of the Paralympic Games to life for them. 

Students feedback

After learning about the Paralympics in class, it was really interesting to go to the Heritage Centre and hear how the Paralympics began and have since evolved. Seeing the torch, letters, different range of wheelchairs, medals and much more really hits home about the history of the Paralympics and makes you want to know more. Although we had some knowledge from class, being in the Centre is a new level, it goes into so much more depth, visually, verbally and emotionally, something that you wouldn't get in the classroom. Playing wheelchair basketball was great fun and topped off an interesting day!

I really enjoyed the trip to the National Heritage Centre. It was nice that they didn't shy away from some of the negative aspects of how the Paralympics came about and the hesitation and resistance for change and adding in other disabilities to what was original spinal cord injuries. It was also amazing to see some of the history of the Paralympics that they had there in forms of letters, clothing, torches and even menus from the flights to the Games, and they people working there were very welcoming and encouraged us to pick things up to read them etc.

Chiltern Heritage Festival

As part of the Chiltern Heritage Festival, on Friday 4th October visitors had the opportunity to meet Paralympic swimmer, Stephanie Millward MBE and listen to her story. The groups enjoyed a site tour and a tour of the Paralympic Heritage Centre with a talk about the Paralympic Movement. 

We received some wonderful feedback from the day.

Very much enjoyed the visit to the paralympic heritage centre. Thanks to Steve and Vicky for hosting. Would definitely recommend that people learn more about this great contribution to Buckinghamshire history.

Stephanie Millward MBE speaking to a group sat at tables as part of a tour to the National Paralympic Heritage Centre Vicky Hope-Walker, Stephanie Millward MBE and Elaine Phiri in front of the entrance to the National Paralympic Heritage Centre Stephanie Millward MBE in front of the Sports Wheelchair Evolution display at the National Paralympic Heritage Centre

    Meet the Paralympian Day

    On Wednesday 14th August, we had a great day with Naomi Riches MBE, Paralympic adaptive rower, sharing her story and experience of competing at an elite level. The day started with a Business breakfast, followed by a Q&A and 'have a go at rowing' sessions, and a tour of the Paralympic Heritage Centre. Read more information about Naomi here

    Naomi Riches MBE sharing her story at the Meet the Paralympian business breakfast Naomi Riches MBE sharing her story at the Meet the Paralympian Day Naomi Riches with visitors at the Meet the Paralympian