Meet Stewart Pimblett, recipient of our Athletes in Excellence Award!
“I feel incredibly honoured and humbled to receive the 2021 Athletes in Excellence Award among so many worthy recipients. I have always taken great pride in championing wheelchair sport in my local community, and it is an incredible privilege for me personally to be on the British Curling Paralympic programme. I very much hope this award and my endeavours will help to ensure others have the same opportunities I have enjoyed to fulfill their potential and follow their dreams as I am doing.”
Stewart “Stu” Pimblett is a leader in the disabled sports community in the United Kingdom. In addition to a remarkable career in wheelchair basketball, he founded England’s first-ever wheelchair curling club, the Northern Ice Wheelchair Curling Club.
When he was 9 years old, Stu was in a traffic accident and became a paraplegic. After his recovery period in the hospital and trying several different schools, Stu attended the Pendower Hall School in Newcastle. He focused on academics, determined to make up for gaps in education. His hard work paid off, and Stu advanced into a classroom with some of the brightest students at the school. He also joined the school’s wheelchair basketball team, competing at numerous sporting events across the region and in the United States.
After leaving Pendower Hall in 1985, Stu played for the Tyneside Wanderers, which began his nearly four-decade long career in Wheelchair Basketball. He competed at an international level and served as a board member in the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association (now known as British Wheelchair Basketball). He also coached and mentored students at his former school.
In 2010 Stu and his friend founded the Northern Ice Curling Club, which was the only wheelchair curling club in England until 2019. He has organized bonspiels, led fundraising efforts, competed internationally, and coached fellow curlers.
Well aware of the challenges faced daily by people with disabilities, Stu is determined to create a community of support – as he says, “I just want to give my friends a reason to get up every day.”
Stewart Pimblett was nominated by Angie Malone. Each recipient of the Athletes in Excellence Award receives an unrestricted gift of $10,000 to further their passion for sport and community service.