Ben Rushgrove, A Paralympic Perspective on Disability Sport (Audio Description)
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Ben Rushgrove, A Paralympic Perspective on Disability Sport (Audio Description)

November 19, 2019


My name’s Ben Rushgrove. I competed in Beijing and London. (Cheering
and applause) I won some medals and I’d like to share them
with you. So pass them round please. Don’t be frightened. They’re not going to
… you know. We were sitting at the dining table just now and someone was telling me this horror story about this head teacher who was standing with
a medal. He fell over or something and broke the medal. So just stay seated – it will be fine. (He laughs along with audience). I won the Silver Medal with a broken foot
in Beijing. My foot was broken in two places. So that kind of makes it all the more remarkable, if that makes sense. It’s a fascinating thing, whenever you get
a Paralympic games, because everybody who’s there is disabled. And so as a consequence the facilities are made out to be incredibly accessible for disabled
people. The reality is that most of the time, although
the facilities in this little tiny bubble, are accessible, anything outside of the bubble is a real problem. I get a lot of questions about legacy of games. And the reality is that actually not a lot
changes. It’s a strange thing – it is – yes. People’s mindset changes quite quickly, but then they quickly revert back to the way things were before. I don’t know how many of you heard this week, but the Government has decided to cut the Independent Living Allowance for disabled
people. And that will have a real impact on the lives of disabled people. It will mean they don’t get to go out as much in the local
community. The reality is is that, what the grant allowed them to do, is to pay
for transportation to get them out and about. That was the nature of the grant. You take that away and what have they got
left? There are some things that have really improved as a result of the Paralympics. People come
up to me much more confidently than they did before
the games. And they’re quite happy to talk to me. And I’m quite happy to talk to whoever. And that kind of interaction – that kind of awkward moment has kind of gone a bit.

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