Kevin’s love was always sailing, but at the age of seventeen he had a very serious fall which caused him to become paralysed from the waist down and to have to use a wheelchair for mobility.
But with the dogged determination he applies to many aspects of his life, he relearnt how to sail and went on to win numerous international sailing awards to become an inspiration to us all.
Because of his sailing achievements, Kevin was selected to go to Barcelona for the World Championships in 1992 and was later put forward for the “Helmsman of the Year” and the prestigious “Yachtsman of the Year” awards, and was successful in both of these.
Both of these awards are open to everyone, not just disabled people, so Kevin’s achievements are an encouragement to anyone who has had to struggle against adversity.
To cap it all Kevin qualified for the British team in the Paralympics in Atlanta in 1996 and the team won the gold medal for Britain.
Kevin currently works for the Ipswich NHS Wheelchair Service. He is also a founder and trustee of the East Anglian Sailing Trust (EAST) based at the Suffolk Yacht Harbour at Levington. Its aim is to promote sailing for disabled people.
Wheelchair basketball has also benefited from Kevin’s input and he is especially enthusiastic about wheelchair tennis which he plays at Kesgrave Tennis Club and which is open to people that enjoy the game whether they are disabled or not.
Kevin’s awards include:
- 1996 Gold medal, Paralympic Games, Atlanta
- 1992 Gold medal, World Championships, Barcelona
- 1992 Helmsman of the Year
- 1992 BT Yachtsman of the Year
Listen to Kevin’s story on Vimeo
In this video Kevin tells of how he first started sailing as a result of his dad being posted to Cyprus with the RAF, how he broke his back and spent 9 months in Lodge Moor, Hospital Sheffield, training at Alton Water Sailing Club in Suffolk, attending his first major international event — the 1990 World Championships — and going on to win gold medals at the 1992 World Championships and 1996 Paralympic Games through to his work on the board of the British Olympic Association for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Suffolk Lap of Honour website also includes a transcript of this video.