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Local Athletes

Northern Ireland has a history of success within disability sport including a number of world record holders and medal winners. The number of local athletes with a disability competing with distinction at an international continues to grow across all sports, creating role models for the next generation of athletes.

  • Sally Brown

    Athletics Sally Brown
    Sally Brown

    "Sport has changed my life completely. I am a more confident and focused person. It has given me so many experiences and has taught me so much. I will never give up or never give in until I have reached my goal."

  • Michael McKillop

    Athletics Michael McKillop
    Michael McKillop

    “Sport began as my physiotherapy, it became my hobby, and as I grew stronger and more skilful it became my job and now it is my life and it’s made me who I am!"

  • Kelly Gallagher

    Kelly Gallagher
    Kelly Gallagher

    "When I was at school I used to ask my mum to write notes to get me out of PE, so finding my passion in ski racing is something very special for me. There is no greater feeling than conquering the fear or anxiety I have at the beginning of the downhill and knowing I couldn't have pushed any harder during the run at the finish. From a young age I was encouraged to believe that you can pursue your passions no matter what other people's perceptions of your capabilities."

  • Jason Smyth

    Athletics Jason Smyth
    Jason Smyth

    "I have been able to win Gold Medals, retain Gold medals, and break world records. For me if I had full sight I would never have had those experiences. I feel with the challenge of my eyesight I have become a far stronger person which progressed in me becoming the fastest Paralympian, a dream I would have never imagined when I was younger."

  • James MacSorley

    Basketball James MacSorley
    James MacSorley

    "Wheelchair basketball has had a massive impact on my life. It's opened up new doors for me, not just in sport, but in life. I've met some of my best friends and had some of the best experiences in my life with wheelchair basketball."

  • James Brown

    Cycling James Brown
    James Brown

    "Sport has played a significant role in my life and in making me who I am. There is absolutely no doubt that the determination that I need to be successful in a disabling world has come from sport. I'm proud to still be competing in my late 40s and I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think I could still win! I love training and I love racing! Sport can change lives, so more disabled people should take part. Too often in my work I see limited aspiration, low self-esteem and isolation - sport can address these issues and many more."

  • Bethany Firth

    Swimming Bethany Firth
    Bethany Firth

    “I love swimming, as I have made so many new friends and have seen the world - well some of it!"

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