Successful Thesis Defence by Dr Samuel Brady in the History of the Sports Wheelchair

Sam Brady at the University of Glasgow

The National Paralympic Heritage Trust (NPHT) is delighted to announce that Samuel Brady has successfully defended his PhD thesis on ‘The socio-technical history of manual sport wheelchair devices’ with the University of Glasgow. Sam passed his viva with minor corrections.

We are accredited as a ‘nationally styled museum’, and academic programmes of work is crucial to our success. None of this would have been possible without the work of Sporting Heritage CIC, providing ideas, guidance and crucially the path to funding, or without Dr Tom Shakespeare, whom introduced me to Dr Nick Watson at the University of Glasgow, connections coming out of the Sporting Heritage networks.

Sam’s PhD programme was the result of a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership, an AHRC funded scheme to build connections between the Academic and heritage sectors. As part of this degree, Sam completed a six-month work placement with the Trust between November 2021 and April 2022. During his placement, Sam was embedded as part of the team, developing core skills, cataloguing our collections, and producing an App taking the user on a tour around Stoke Mandeville – the birthplace of the Paralympics.

Sam also completed 24 blogs for the Trust’s website throughout his degree, which were thought provoking and gave us important opportunities to reflect on our work. As a public facing organisation, it is easy to that get caught up in the day-to-day duties which prevent important reflection time. These blogs also helped to showcase the collections we work with in new ways.

In addition to the PhD there have been many other academic spin offs and presentations that provide additional value to us as an organisation and assist us in raising our profile within the heritage and academic sector. This three-way relationship between University of Glasgow, Sporting Heritage, and the Trust has been invaluable, especially concerning the early Games where the Paralympic sports were only Wheelchair based.

Sam, we are hugely proud of you and look forward to sharing your excellent work.

Team photo with Dr Sam Brady stood on back row holding colourful card with his name on.

Sam celebrating with the NPHT Team

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