Patrons - Julia Bradbury
TV presenter and broadcaster Julia Bradbury endorses the Sportability ethos.
In many of the challenges that I have undertaken both as a broadcaster and in my private life I have been taken well outside of my comfort zone. In fact it would be true to say that I have at times been terrified. I therefore can't imagine how it could be for someone with a disability, and particulary paralysis, to undertake equally challenging pursuits and activities.
Julia Bradbury is one of television's most experienced and versatile presenters and co-hosts BBC1's prime time consumer affairs programme Watchdog. In 2007 Julia joined the BBC's team covering the fashions. But she really came to fame with Wainwright's Walks – a stunning BBC4 series shot in the Lake District. Julia walked in the footsteps of famous fell-walker and guide writer Alfred Wainwright. Her enthusiasm and commitment made the series come alive.
Then in Climb Britain – part of BBC's Ultimate Britain series Julia conquered her fear of heights and successfully climbed three major rock faces – Commando Ridge in Cornwall: Crackstone Rib in Snowdonia: and the famous Sea Stack in Scotland, the Old Man of Stoer. It was this programme that struck a chord with Sportability chief executive, David Heard. Seeing Julia struggle to overcome those very real fears was extremely moving. The fact that she controlled those fears, and then went on to literally new heights, was exactly the kind of experience that defines the Sportability ethos. Julia went on to present Red Arrows, where she took to the sky in one of the world's most famous jets. Travel Personality of the Year in 2010, Julia has featured in more Wainwrights Walks (Coast to Coast) South Africa Walks, and Railway Walks. She is currently presenting Countryfile and is airing a new series in 2011, entitled German Wanderlust.
"In many of the challenges that I have undertaken both as a broadcaster and in my private life I have been taken well outside of my comfort zone. In fact it would be true to say that I have at times been terrified. I therefore can't imagine how it could be for someone with a disability, and particularly paralysis, to undertake equally challenging pursuits and activities.
What I can imagine is the tremendous exhilaration and thrill, and I guess the sense of achievement, that comes with overcoming those fears, accepting the challenge and ultimately succeeding.
The work that Sportability does, providing opportunities for people with paralysis to participate in sports and other challenging events, to get out of the wheelchair and grab back that adrenalin rush, is nothing short of amazing. The credo of taking the 'dis' out of disability is so empowering.
You have my best wishes for continued success.
Photo credit: Thanks to Skyworks, producers of Wainwright's Walks.
Julia was born in Dublin to a Greek Mum and a Derbyshire born Dad. The family moved back to the UK in the early 70's and settled in Rutland. The business interests of both parents took them to Sheffield, where Julia went to school. She took part in the Crucible Theatre's stage production of Peter Pan, starring Joanne Whalley and Paula Wilcox where she donned a fishtail and got afternoons off school playing a mermaid – Julia's first professional engagement. After leaving school she moved to London to live with her sister Gina, and after a short spell of working in the family fashion business, she followed her dream of working in television.