Talk: Paralympic Heritage - Kevan Baker OBE, BSc

Cliffe Castle Museum

Sat 29 Jun 2019

A keen sportsman in his youth playing county level rugby union, Kevan was paralysed at the age of 19 when he was involved in a serious road accident in 1979. Following a successful Paralympic career, Kevan was honoured with an OBE by HRH Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 for his voluntary service to disability sport.

Devastated by the news that he would never walk again, Kevan was rehabilitating at Pinderfields Spinal Centre in Wakefield when two wheelchair athletes visited in 1980, training for the World Disabled Games, they inspired Kevan to pursue his love of sport. Attending a local athletic club where he had to get the coach to contact the specialists the British Wheelchair Sports Federation to devise a proper training plan, Kevan began training for the wheelchair discus. He went on to compete at 4 Paralympic Games, winning a bronze medal in 1992 in Barcelona and 1996 in Atlanta. He broke the world record on 3 occasions during his career. Kevan also won 3 world record championship gold medals.

Kevan worked with WheelPower (British Wheelchair Sport) and has been Chairman of WheelPower since 1995, motivating and inspiring many wheelchair users to achieve in the sporting arena. He retired from the role in 2018 and was honoured with a Life Vice President role. Kevan was inducted into the Stoke Mandeville Sports Hall of Fame in April 2018.

In 2011 Kevan established a Spinal Injuries Patient Support Group in Yorkshire called SPINE that has 800 plus members. He is currently working as a member of the Government Wheelchair Alliance Task Force re-writing policy for wheelchair provision in England along with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

View the exhibition in the gallery and in the domehouse: Paralympic Heritage: Stories from Bradford & Keighley

This talk has been arranged by the Cliffe Castle Support Group.

Free entry, booking required. Please call 01535 618231 or email [email protected]

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