Wheelchair Tennis Player, Sports Broadcaster & ICU World Champion (ParaCheer Division) supports BRIT
We are thrilled that Wheelchair Tennis Player, Sports Broadcaster & ICU World Champion (ParaCheer Division), Gemma Stevenson, is part of our BRIT Ambassador family and championing the annual BRIT Challenge.
Gemma is a wheelchair tennis player and sports journalist, whose work focuses predominantly on parasport; in particular the wheelchair tennis tour. She has also represented the country in ParaCheer; winning gold and being crowned a World Champion at the 2019 ICU World Championships as part of Team England.
Her passion for sport started at a young age where she regularly competed at local level in dance, swimming, hockey, netball and tennis. She attended the University of Leeds where she completed her BA in Theatre and Performance and then went on to pursue a professional performing career.
However, after being involved in a car accident, a traumatic brain injury and diagnoses of dystonia led to her becoming a full-time wheelchair user and Gemma decided to make the switch from musical theatre to sports presenter. She returned to higher education and passed her MA in Sports Journalism at St Mary’s University.
“As a student who accessed Student Services myself, I know from personal experience that many young adults can struggle with their mental health while university or college. Working as a journalist and talking to athletes, I am also acutely aware of the pressures and mental health challenges that they face; particularly with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affecting training and competition. Through their lived experience, they understand the importance of good mental health, fitness and wellbeing.
BRIT’s Vision to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK resonates with me both personally and professionally. The delivery of the annual BRIT Challenge as a feelgood February fundraiser for every university and college to take part in is an inspiring initiative. It’s great to see that the BRIT Challenge has been designed to be inclusive so that students and staff of all abilities can participate.
By joining the BRIT Ambassador family, Olympians, Paralympians, sports personalities, adventurers and explorers, are having a UK-wide impact on destigmatising mental health and championing equality, diversity and inclusion. I urge Great Britain’s Tennis players to unite and join our BRIT Ambassador so that together, we can encourage and inspire students throughout the UK to participate in the annual BRIT Challenge.
I am delighted to part of the BRIT Ambassador family and look forward to supporting students and staff at The University of Leeds and St. Mary’s University as they take on the BRIT Challenge.”
Wheelchair Tennis Player, Sports Broadcaster and
ICU World Champion (ParaCheer Division)
Anyone interested in knowing more about disability tennis can find out more on the Lawn Tennis Association website.