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Steve fell from a balcony in his early 20s and was paralysed from the chest down. Wheelchair rugby (aka murderball) provided the focus and support he needed to rebuild his life. Now a broadcaster and a regular on Countryfile, The One Show, and Springwatch, he speaks with humour and energy about his inspiring journey from injury to captaining his team at London 2012 to his lifelong ambition to present wildlife programmes, and the lessons in leadership, teamwork and motivation he learned along the way.
Steve Brown is a broadcaster and former Paralympian. The story of how he went from near fatal injury to representing Britain at London 2012 to TV presenter is surprising, inspiring and instructive.
After studying Steve worked abroad in hospitality, he gained a management job and prospects looked good. However a fall from a balcony resulted in him being paralysed from the chest down. During a physically and emotionally draining spell in Stoke Mandeville’s spinal injuries unit, he was introduced to a game of wheelchair rugby (or ‘murderball’). Determined to rebuilt his life and be defined by what he could do rather that what he couldn’t, he threw himself into the sport.
Wheelchair rugby is a tactical, fast-paced and often brutal game. Players pick up a catalogue of injuries on the court, but when you’re in a wheelchair a broken hand or rib is put into perspective. Having proved his ability, Steve only failed to make the Beijing Paralympics because he broke his sternum and seven ribs during a match. After recovering he became captain of the team and prepared to lead them into the London Games.
As well as his own inspiring story, Steve also talks about the qualities and achievements that saw him appointed captain. He considers the lessons learned in how to maintain morale, draw out the best in individuals, and deal with disappointment.
When injury ended his hopes of playing in the Rio Games, Steve was recruited by both the BBC and Channel 4 to join their Paralympic and Invictus Games teams. He’s now a full-time broadcaster and in addition to sport has 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.
Having been told at school he’d never achieve his ambitions of either playing sport for his country or being a wildlife presenter, Steve is in the very usual position of having done both. With boundless positivity, humour and spirit he describes his challenges and achievements. He recounts a powerful, inspiring story of defying expectations, dedication, teamwork and a style of leadership that enables others to identify goals and encourages those that struggle to find their voice.
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