Stoke Mandeville Stadium is to host the unveiling ceremony of Sir Ludwig Guttmann’s statue on Sunday 24th June starting from 12.00pm.
Sir Ludwig Guttmann, the global founder of spinal cord injury treatment, introduced sport into his rehabilitation programme for his patients. He had the vision that sport for disabled people would become a global phenomenon.
The Paralympic Games developed as a result of an archery competition on the grass outside the National Spinal Injuries Centre for his patients on the opening day of the 1948 London Olympic Games.
A life size bronze statue of “Poppa”, as he was endearingly known, has been commissioned to stand outside his National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. The long overdue statue will be unveiled at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and it will also be a chance for people to celebrate the Paralympic Games coming home to Britain.
Throughout the day there will be speeches from Mike Mackenzie, Chairman of the Poppa Guttmann Trust, the Minister of State for Care Services Paul Bustow MP and many more. Sir Ludwig Guttmann’s daughter, Eva Loeffler OBE, and son Dr Dennis Guttmann will unveil the statue of their Father. Sir Phillip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee will be at the unveiling to accept a bronze bust of Poppa Guttmann, sponsored by Aggreko, which will be on display at this year’s and all future Paralympic Games.
Ian Seabrook, Business Development and Marketing Manager at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, commented:
“This is going to be an extremely memorable day, we feel honoured to be hosting the unveiling ceremony of such an important figure in our Paralympic history. Previous to this Sir Ludwig Guttmann had no permanent tribute, but now this statue will recognise and celebrate his outstanding work and legacy.”
For more information about The “Poppa” Guttmann Recognition and Celebration Project please visit www.poppaguttmanncelebration.org.
To find out more about Stoke Mandeville Stadium, visit www.stokemandevillestadium.co.uk.