Bob Paterson MBE awarded Pursuit Trophy & named World Abilitysport Honorary Patron


Bob Paterson MBE has been awarded the Pursuit Trophy and bestowed the title of first World Abilitysport Honorary Patron at the General Assembly in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. 

Bob Paterson MBE has been awarded the Pursuit Trophy and become the first recipient of the World Abilitysport Honorary Patron title, in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

World Abiltitysport President, Rudi Van den Abbeele presented the award and title to Bob at the close of the 1st World Abilitysport General Assembly in the company of the Governing Board and 30 member organisations.

Rudi Van den Abbeele summarised Bob’s contributions and achievements to the Assembly and said; ‘Bob has been an unwavering supporter of the Paralympic Movement for over four decades. His commitment to the transformation of the lives of people with physical impairments through sport has impacted the experiences of thousands of people in Great Britain and across the world. His contributions will be felt for many years to come.’

Bob Paterson MBE Awarded Pursuit Trophy by Rudi Van den Abbeele

At the 1984 Summer Games closing ceremony, the Ludwig Guttmann Friendship, Unity and Sportsmanship awards were introduced and the Pursuit Trophy was presented to Austrian athlete Dr Rosa Schweizer and International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation administrator, Joan Scruton for outstanding contribution to sport.

The award, a replica of Jimmy Laird’s sculpture of a shot putter that sat in the entrance of Stoke Mandeville Stadium, has since been awarded to individuals who have shown outstanding contributions to the Paralympic Movement.

Bob said of his award and title, ”At the time it was so unexpected, I was rendered speechless except to say “I am shocked”! Now I feel so honoured by both the Pursuit Trophy and my new title of Honorary Patron that the best I can do is to thank all the wonderful people I have met as athletes, volunteers and administrators for letting me enjoy my involvement with the work of World Abilitysport and its predecessors over the years.  Thank you everyone.”

From a child witnessing the humble beginnings of the event now known as the Paralympic Games led by the vision of Bob’s family friend Sir Ludwig Guttmann, Bob has held many different positions throughout the last four decades.

Inspired by Sir Ludwig’s passion for the value of sport to World War II’s injured veterans, Bob’s involvement with sport for physically impaired athletes officially began in 1980 when Bob joined the Executive Council of the British Paraplegic Sports Society (BPSS). He then went on to be a founding member and Board Member of the British Paralympic Association.

In 1985, Bob settled into his first international role as a founding member and treasurer of the International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sport Federation and took his final role in 2005 as Honorary Treasurer for IWAS and more recently World Abilitysport.

Bob Paterson presents athlete Hayley Fitzsimmons (IRL) a medal

Bob has supported the many functions of an international sporting organisation and charity through his financial and administrative experience paired with his wealth of knowledge gained through many decades of involvement in the Movement.

Upon presentation of the award and title, the General Assembly showed their appreciation with a standing ovation. Bob will continue to be recognised through his role as Honorary Patron of World Abilitysport.