Steve fell from a balcony in his early 20s. When he tried to get up he realised his arms and legs wouldn’t respond; he was permanently paralysed from the chest down. In presentations he gives an insight into the journey from hellish injury to captain of Great Britain’s wheelchair rugby team. He describes leadership on the court, the fight to become the best in the world, and the sheer pride of leading out his side at the London Paralympics.
Steve Brown fell from a balcony in his early 20s. When he tried to get up he realised his arms and legs wouldn’t respond; it soon became apparent that he was permanently paralysed from the chest down. During a physically and emotionally draining spell in Stoke Mandeville’s spinal injuries unit, he heard a game of wheelchair rugby (or ‘murderball’) in full, aggressive flow.
After learning the basics of life in a wheelchair, Steve had his first training session. It provided him with a focus and a goal in his recovery, as well as the support of a team. Within 18 months he was in the development squad, and only failed to make the Beijing Paralympics because he broke his sternum and seven ribs during a match.
Wheelchair rugby is a tactical, fast-paced and often brutal game. It’s full of risks, with specially adapted chairs colliding at high-speed. Players pick up a catalogue of injuries on court, but when you’re in a wheelchair a broken hand or rib is seen in perspective. Unlike many team sports, the gap between top international sides is small, which brings an intense focus on minor advantages and a concentration on tactical details and strategy.
In presentations Steve gives an insight into the journey from devistating injury to captain of Britain’s wheelchair rugby team. He describes leadership on the court, the fight to become the best in the world, and the sheer pride of leading out his side at the London Paralympics. He also examines the lessons he’s learned the hard way in resilience, understanding what is possible, and dealing with change as a team and as an individual.
After London 2012 Steve retired from international competition and joined Channel 4’s acclaimed Paralympic sports broadcasting team. He’s now a full-time broadcaster and has worked with the BBC on their Invictus Games coverage and fronted reports for Countryfile, The One Show, and Springwatch. He also embarked on a 900 mile journey alongside five other people with different physical disabilities for BBC One’s Without Limits: Vietnam.
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