Tuesday 1st September

‘Rising Phoenix’ is an inspirational film about the Paralympics, it pulls no punches and delivers the stories of some of the worlds’ great Paralympians with brutal honesty. It is a film that will move and inspire like the Games themselves.

Elite athletes and insiders reflect on the Paralympic Games and the film examines their impact on a global understanding of disability, diversity and excellence.

The NPHT was instrumental to this production, directed by Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui, through the provision of historical films, photographs and oral histories. We have a rich collection focused around the birth of the Paralympics and at the Paralympic Heritage Centre at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, where we immersed the production crew in the beginnings of this worldwide movement.

Calum Campbell, HTYT Films

The National Paralympic Heritage Trust have a unique and special collection that provided us with a rich background of history for our film. We took the production team around the Paralympic Heritage Centre and were inspired by the incredible stories of the early athletes, movers and shakers of this exceptional sporting movement. 

The NPHT curates the collections of the National Spinal Injuries Centre where Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann began his pioneering work incorporating sport as part of the rehabilitation programme. It  also conserves and shares the collections of the International Sport and Amputee Federation, WheelPower and the British Paralympic Association, who between them hold unique items telling the story of the early years and the many barriers faced by the pioneers through to the present day, including 70 costumes worn at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The display within the National Spinal Injuries Centre shows how the Paralympics was not their only innovation, but how their wider research and rehabilitation programmes have shaped the treatment of spinal cord injuries worldwide.

Sir Philip Craven, President of the NPHT and featured in the film said

It is an honour to be President of the National Paralympic Heritage Trust. Here we see just how important the Trust's work really is by its archives being not only used to provide early content for the new Netflix film "Rising Phoenix" but also to ensure that this vital part of the Paralympic heritage and stories of human endeavour continues to be celebrated and cherished to enlighten and inspire future generations.

Watch the film, be inspired and discover further archives and stories about the birth of the Paralympic movement by taking a virtual tour of the NPHT displays here

If you would like further information please contact [email protected]


For Media Enquiries: Vicky Hope-Walker, CEO, National Paralympic Heritage Trust, 07776 471066

Notes for Editors

About the National Paralympic Heritage Trust

The National Paralympic Heritage Trust (NPHT) has been established ‘to enlighten and inspire future generations by celebrating, cherishing and bringing the Paralympic heritage and its stories of human endeavour to life’. The heritage tells the history of a remarkable movement beginning with the arrival of Dr Guttmann as a Jewish refugee from Germany in 1943 through to the many individual who have been part of the movement. It is a journey that has had profound effects on the lives of many disabled people and their families. It has led the way in changing attitudes towards disabled people and influenced the development of new medical, scientific and engineering technologies to better support them. It is a tale still unfolding with further significant developments during and since the success of London 2012.

The four founding members of the National Paralympic Heritage Trust are the British Paralympic Association, WheelPower – British Wheelchair Sport, Aylesbury Vale District Council, and Buckinghamshire Council. Contributing partners include the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation, the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Buckinghamshire County Museum Trust and the Buckinghamshire Archives.

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