On Saturday 24th March 2018, the National Paralympic Heritage Trust (NPHT), launched its first regional exhibition at Norwich Cathedral. During this enjoyable day they were fortunate to welcome local organisations; Active Norfolk, Norfolk Tennis and Norfolk Boccia. Also attending, were local Paralympians; Cyclist Iain Dawson, Athlete Danny Nobbs and Sledge Hockey player Naomi Adi. Iain and Danny have shared their stories of disability sport with young Film Maker, Ella Glendining who has incorporated it into a specially commissioned film for the exhibition.
Iain Dawson, spoke about his work with children and young people in the community, saying, “I was really keen to get involved in the Paralympic Heritage project. It’s important to chart the history of disability sport from a local to international level. I hope that the exhibition and associated activities will help to inspire the next generation to get involved in Paralympic sports and to lead an active lifestyle.”
The Dean of Norwich Cathedral who opened the launch said, “We are delighted to be hosting the Paralympics Exhibition in the Cathedral as this is an opportunity for all who visit to learn about athletes who have reached the top of their sport demonstrating their skill, perseverance and determination to overcome difficulties, which is an inspiration to us all. We hope that many people
will come to the Cathedral to enjoy the exhibition and the magnificence of the space in which it is set.”
Paul Mainds, Chairman of the NPHT, said, “This is a very important day for the NPHT and we are enormously grateful to both the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral for their welcome and enthusiasm, enabling us to launch the first of many exhibitions celebrating the unique story of how one man’s vision developed into the worldwide Paralympic Movement. This exhibition, with so much local content, absolutely reflects the Trust’s wish to work closely with local communities, individuals and heritage organisations to bring these special stories to life.”
The exhibition is open to the public until Tuesday 22nd May and features unique displays capturing the history of the British Paralympic movement including films and photos of Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann and a range of equipment and memorabilia, some of which had been at risk of being lost to the nation.
One of the highlights will be a Celebrating Diversity event on the 21st April with the opportunity to try the Paralympic sport of Boccia and meet local Para Sport organisations. In addition, there will be sessions for local schools.
The NPHT exists to care for and share the heritage of the British Paralympic Movement. Norwich is the first of many venues that will host special exhibitions. As part of a five-year project, exhibitions will also be held at venues in Manchester, Bradford, Bath and London. The story all started 70 years ago when Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann used sport as an aid to recovery for returning, badly-injured Servicemen. In 1948 the first Stoke Mandeville Games was staged, the foundation for the Paralympic movement.
Funding support has been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Spirit of 2012, Norfolk Community Foundation, Jarrold and Norwich Cathedral.
They would love to hear from anyone who has any stories or memorabilia that are part of the history of the British Paralympic Movement – no matter how small. More information can be found on the National Paralympic Heritage Trust website at www.paralympicheritage.org.uk.
If you would like to volunteer as a Paralympic Heritage Ambassador at the Exhibition itself, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, they invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under your feet to the historic parks and buildings you love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.
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 Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann as a Jewish refugee from Germany in 1939 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 County Council. Contributing partners include the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation, the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Buckinghamshire County Museum Trust and the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies.