A wheelchair athlete and disability sport advocate from Monifieth has been named one of the 100 most influential people living with a disability in the UK.
Gemma Lumsdaine – who is a member of the GB Wheelchair Rugby Talent Squad – is one of just seven figures from the world of sport to make the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100.
Gemma, who is studying a masters by research at the University of the West of Scotland, also plays wheelchair basketball at a national level and coaches wheelchair sports for the Dundee Dragons.
She said of the accolade: “I honestly didn’t expect it.
“I knew I’d been nominated but, given the calibre of people who typically appear on the list, I didn’t think for one second that I would end up being named on it. I’m still processing it all.
“I’m really passionate about promoting disability sports and opportunities, and it means a lot to have been recognised for this.
“This is actually what my research project at UWS is all about – I’m looking at the motivations and barriers to entry people with disabilities experience when accessing, or trying to access, sport and physical activity in Scotland.
“The academics have been really supportive, and I am excited to be able to research in this area.”
What is the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100?
The Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 aims to recognise “strong, successful, influential people who are leaders in their field” as part of its efforts to recognise people with disabilities who are role models.
The trust says the list “recognises and amplifies the successes of the finalists, with the goal of encouraging talented leaders of tomorrow through their example to achieve their full potential, regardless of disability or impairment”.
It includes people from various areas including politics, entertainment, business and science.
The trust has compiled a top 10 with The Valuable 500 – which brings together CEOs and companies from across the world in making a commitment to disability inclusion – named as number one this year.
Among the judges is Stefan Hoggan-Radu, from Fife.
Day 5 celebrating Girls & Women in sport, meet Gemma, HN graduate recently named in the top 100 most influential disabled people in the UK ❤️”I absolutely love coaching, supporting people to grow both on & off the court is one of the best feelings!” #SheCanSheWill @dundee_angus pic.twitter.com/6rdkMSZbxN
— DAsportsandfitness (@DAsportsfitness) October 29, 2021
Dr Liz Carlin, lecturer in sports coaching and development, said: “This is a tremendous achievement, and I am really pleased for Gemma.
“It is well-deserved recognition for the work she has done, and is doing.
“I am also delighted that she is part of our Understanding Disability Sport in Scotland research in collaboration with the Observatory for Sport in Scotland; a project which stands to make a real difference, as it maps the landscape of disability sport in Scotland and understand the experiences people have had.”