Angie Malone's Story (Part 1 - Discovering Wheelchair Sport)

Angie Malone MBE is a wheelchair curler from Glasgow. She has been to 4 Paralympic Games and 8 World Championships, winning many medals throughout her amazing sporting career. She is now retired but still very much involved in the sport, coaching the next generation of players in the game she loves so much. At the end of 2021 Angie joined the WheelPower team as the Physical Activity Advisor at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow. 

This is Angie's Story ... 

SCI and Rehabilitation through Sport

“I sustained my spinal cord injury in 1981 aged 16 when I was involved in a road traffic accident. I was transferred to the spinal unit in Glasgow (East Kilbride) and spent over a year in rehabilitation. As a new girl who had a terrible injury I didn’t know what to and I was in some really dark places at a young age.”

“The first time I got the opportunity to try sport was down at Stoke Mandeville Stadium at the inter spinal unit games. When I was 17 in 1982 I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to come to the games. It opened up my eyes to a new world, and to being able to participate in sport in a wheelchair was mind blowing.”

“As well as playing sports to have the opportunity to meet other wheelchair users like myself was fantastic. I was able to speak to them about personal things and it was a very special time for me. It all started at Stoke Mandeville and from then on, I started my own sporting career trying many different sports, from tennis to basketball to water sports. I still love water sports and love kayaking and water skiing.”

“Back in Scotland I continued to attend the Glasgow Spinal Unit for a sports club called options where I could attend with my daughters and try lots of different sports. We had that very special bond and adapted as a family to take part in lots of different sports together which was amazing.”

Discovering Wheelchair Curling

“It was one of my friends from the spinal unit called Jim who first told me about this new sport called wheelchair curling in 2002 and asked me to come and try it out. At that time I had 2 teenage daughters, I was a single mum, I was studying for a degree. I said to Jim ‘At the moment I can’t travel to Glasgow from South Ayrshire. I don’t have enough hours in the day!’ 6 months later Jim persevered and he invited me to the international qualifiers at Braehead where I could try it, if I wanted to. I thought it would be great to see what it’s all about and I knew curling from watching Rhona Martin at Salt Lake City.”

“After I threw my first stone, I was absolutely hooked. I was so thrilled to find a sport that was this amazing, and I couldn’t wait to find a coach and a club. I was encouraged to come to more events and very quickly selected on to the Scottish team that went to Switzerland for the 2003 world championships. It was such a proud moment and we won gold.”

“I was still considered a rookie at the time but I was giving at least 5 hours a day to the game, I found a coach, joined a gym and was on the ice every day. I was determined to be part of the team and I loved the game, the camaraderie of being part of a team sport. Although the competition was fierce the curling was so much fun, and it was the people who really made it.” 

PART 2 - The Paralympics 

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