One's to Watch in Tokyo

One's to Watch in Tokyo 

Over the years WheelPower has supported many future Paralympians to discover their talent for a particular sport and to help them to fulfill their potential. This may have been from attending one of our events as a junior, taking part in the Inter Spinal Unit Games following injury, being supported by one of our physical activity advisors in a spinal unit, or perhaps we have helped provide some new equipment that has helped them to achieve their dreams.


Here is a list of some of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympians who have been supported by WheelPower on their journey to the Games: 

David Weir (Athletics - Wheelchair Racing) 

Event: T54 1500m, 5000m and Marathon

Paralympic debut: Atlanta 1996

As a junior Weir took part in WheelPower’s junior sport programme, and regularly attended events at Stoke Mandeville Stadium whilst developing his talents for wheelchair racing. David made his Paralympic debut in Atlanta 1996 at the age of just 17. At London 2012 cheered on by the home crowd David won four gold medals, in the T54 800m, 1500m, 5000m and marathon. In 2021 David was selected for his fifth games at the age of 42 as he continues to compete at the highest level for ParalympicsGB. 

In 2014 David was inducted into the Stoke Mandeville Hall of Fame by Sophie, Countess of Wessex. To this day, David regularly returns to Stoke Mandeville Stadium for athletics Grand Prix events and was honored to see his name on the wall alongside Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann at the very place that the Paralympics were born.


Sammi Kinghorn (Athletics - Wheelchair Racing)

Event: T53 100m, 400m, 800m and 4x100m Universal Relay

Paralympic debut: Rio 2016

Samantha (Sammi) attended the Inter Spinal Unit Games 2011 and the following year took part in the NJWCG 2012 at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. She received the Rotary WheelPower Young Citizen Award in 2016. 


 Melanie Woods (Athletics - Wheelchair Racing)

  Event: T54 400, 800m 

  Paralympic debut: Tokyo 2020 

After her accident Melanie was supported by a WheelPower Activity Advisor at the Queen Elizabeth Spinal Unit, Glasgow.    She attended the 2019 Inter Spinal Unit Games (pictured) and in 2020 received Wheelwrights/Wernick Group Funding from WheelPower to help her to purchase some new carbon fibre wheels for her racing chair. 


Kare Adenegan (Athletics - Wheelchair Racing)

Event: T34 100m and 800m

Paralympic Debut: Rio 2016

Based in Coventry Kare won 3 medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, at the age of just 15. During her junior career she won Rotary WheelPower Young Citizen Award 2017 and is a regular visitor to Stoke Mandeville Stadium during BWAA grand prix events. 


Issy Bailey (Shooting)

Event: SH1 Shooting (10m air pistol, 25m pistol SH)

Paralympic Debut: Rio 2016 

Tokyo 2020 will be Bailey’s second Paralympic Games, having made her Paralympic debut at Rio 2016, two years after joining the Shooting Para sport squad. A talented hockey player growing up in Cirencester, she was introduced to pistol shooting as part of her rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville hospital. 

Following a car accident Issy spent 7 months in hospital before being transferred to the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. During her rehabilitation this is Issy was introduced to wheelchair sport, through weekly sessions with WheelPower Physical Activity Advisors and also attended the 2014 Inter Spinal Unit Games. During this time she discovered she had a natural talent for target shooting, despite never having shot before and here began her career in the sport. She regularly returns to Stoke Mandeville to attend national championship events. 


Ben Pritchard (Rowing)

Event: PR 1 Rowing 

Paralympic Debut: Tokyo 2020

After a cycling accident Ben was a patient at the NSIC at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and a familiar face at weekly sports and sessions delivered by WheelPower Physical Activity Advisors Ian & Bob. In 2018 Ben attended the Inter Spinal Unit Games alongside his team from the nearby unit. During the week of activity Ben tried multiple sports and took home the medal in swimming. After leaving Stoke Mandeville Ben discovered rowing and has been developing his talent alongside coaches from British Rowing on the pathway to the Paralympics, which today he realised for the first time. 


Ben Fox (Basketball)


Event: Wheelchair Basketball 

Paralympic Debut: Rio 2016

Ben attended multiple national junior games and junior camp events at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in the 2010's. It was here that he first played wheelchair basketball and developed his love for the game (picture) 

Lewis Edwards (Basketball)

Event: Basketball 

Paralympic Debut: Tokyo 2020

Lewis attended multiple WheelPower events from 2010-2014 (picture) where he had an opportunity to play many different sports, including wheelchair basketball. 

A promising discus athlete in his teenage years, it was during that same year that Lewis won gold in the discus at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports World Junior Games. Wanting to get involved in a team sport, Lewis fell in love with the intensity and team aspect of wheelchair basketball and has never looked back.


Jess Stretton (Archery)

Event: Archery

Paralympic Debut: Rio 2016 (2x Gold medal winner) 

Jess is no stranger to WheelPower and Stoke Mandeville having attended multiple junior games and camps when she was younger. At 14 Jess also benefited from our WheelAppeal allowing her to purchase a wheelchair that was more suitable for Archery as her junior career progressed. In 2016 and still only 16 years old jess went to Rio and came home with a gold medal in the Women's Individual Compound W1. 

Alfie Hewett (Tennis)

Event: Tennis

Paralympic Debut: Rio 2016

Alfie attended the 2009 National Junior Games (picture) where he had the opportunity to try his hand at lots of different sports. During the week of sport and activity he helped his basketball team to win first prize, and finished runner up in the table tennis! A few years later Alfie had found that wheelchair tennis was for him and in 2013 he was one of the first recipients of a brand new chair from the Rotary's Wheel Appeal. 
Soon after Alfie became Junior World Number 1 and was named Aegon Junior Player of the Year and his career has continued it's upward trajectory from there. He is currently ranked world no.3 in singles and no.1 in doubles alongside Gordon Reid. The winner of 17 gland slam titles now has his sights on Tokyo as he looks to upgrade the 2 silver medals won in Rio


Martin Rooke (Wheelchair Badminton)

Event: Badminton (Paralympic debut)

Paralympic Debut: Tokyo 2020 

Martin attended the 2007 Inter Spinal Unit Games (picture) and has regularly supported WheelPower events as a coach. He is a member of the Phoenix Wheelchair Badminton Club in Aylesbury and previously played wheelchair basketball with the Stoke Mandeville Aces. 


... and there's more: 

Jordanne Whiley  (Tennis)

Junior Girl of the Year (WheelPower Awards 2006) 

Sophie Carrigill (Wheelchair Basketball)

2011 Inter Spinal Unit Games

Isaac Towers(Athletics - Wheelchair Racing)

Joy Haizelden (Basketball)

Amy Conroy (Basketball)

Lucy Shuker (Tennis)

Matt Skelhon (Shooting) 

David Phillpson (Canoeing) 

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