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Leading figure in disabled sport recognised by Bucks New Uni

Chief Exec of Wheelpower, Martin McElhatton, receiving an honorary doctorate

Published by the Mix96 News Team at 5:46am 5th September 2019. 3-minute read.

Leading figure in disabled sport recognised by Bucks New Uni

A leading figure in disabled sport is being recognised by Bucks New University today (4th Sep).

Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive of Wheelpower in Stoke Mandeville, is among a number of people receiving honorary doctorates during a week of graduation celebrations.

Thousands of students will wear their gowns and mortar boards with pride to make the memorable walk across the stage at the Wycombe Swan Theatre in High Wycombe to receive their certificates in a series of ceremonies.

Professor Nick Braisby, Vice-Chancellor of Bucks New University, in Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, said it was 'delighted' to award honorary recognition to the distinguished array of leading figures.

This year's honorary graduates are:

  • Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive of WheelPower, the national organisation for wheelchair sports in the UK, based at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, in recognition of his commitment to voluntary work helping vast numbers of disabled people to have access to sport and physical activity, as well as his own past sporting career as a Paralympian.
  • Andy Mattin, Executive Director of Nursing & Quality at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust; 
  • Wing Commander Piers Morrell, Principal Director Music at the Royal Air Force; 
  • Baroness Janet Whitaker, President of Friends, Families and Travellers for the Education of Romany and other Travellers.
  • Tony Heaton, an acclaimed, award-winning disabled artist and activist who was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to the Disability Arts Movement.
  • Pippa Nightingale, Chief Nurse at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Grammy Award winner Andrew Scheps, a celebrated mix engineer, recording engineer, producer, and record label owner. 

Martin spoke to Mix96 about his story and how he ended up working for Wheelpower:

"Well I had an accident when I was 18-years-old, I was paralysed from the waist down.

"I was looking for things to do and sport was really the answer.

"I got to play wheelchair basketball and that led to competing for Great Britain in the 1984 Paralympics.

"When my international career ended, I joined Wheelpower as a volunteer.

"Then later on the staff team here, one thing led to another and now I'm the Chief Executive of the charity."

Martin has been working and involved in disability sport for over 30 years and hopes there is lots more years to come. 

He also told us he's incredibly proud of the work Wheelpower does and will continue to help disabled people find things that they can enjoy and help them through their rehabilitation.

Professor Braisby said:

"The week of graduations is always a memorable occasion for the town of High Wycombe and the University as we welcome our students and their families and friends to celebrate their achievements and the many successes enjoyed by the University over the past year.

"Graduation is the University's opportunity to reflect on the hard work of our talented graduates, and a fitting moment to mark the successes they have already enjoyed in achieving their qualifications and to wish them well in the next stages of their chosen careers."

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