Loughborough welcomes Chevening Scholars for conversations on disability, sport and inclusion

Peter Keen and Paralympian Susie Rodgers pictured speaking and laughing in front of an audience.

The campus was a buzz yesterday (15 June) with over 50 Chevening Scholars energized to engage in discussions on disability, sport and inclusion.

Susie Rodgers two-time Paralympian headlined the event, sharing her experiences in the pool, as a prosthetics user and transitioning into a thriving career in international development with the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO).  Peter Keen, Director of Sport Advancement engaged with Susie and the students in a lively discussion on drivers of success in sport and life.   The event concluded with a panel discussion exploring sport as a tool for social development and the value of localisation in development processes.   Moderated by Dr. Emma Pullen (Senior Lecturer, SSEHS), Dr. Jessica Noske Turner (Senior Lecturer, Institute for Media and Creative Industries), Dr. Holly Collison (Senior Lecturer at Institute for Sport Business) and Dr. George Torrens (School of Design and Creative Arts).   Highlighted on this panel is the influential work Loughborough University London is doing to understand how Para Sport can be used to breakdown disability stigma in Sub Saharan African through the AT 2030 project. 

Prof. Charlotte Croffie, Pro Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion helped us to route the event in the University’s wider Equity, Diversity and Inclusion agenda.  On the event, she expressed, ‘Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is about seeing people for who they are and not placing limits on what they are capable of.   The Disability, Sports and Inclusion Conversations event co-hosted with Chevening was an excellent platform for disability and sports and challenging stereotypes.  The unique location in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park provided an excellent venue to do this; in a space where, 11 years ago, Paralympians from across the globe did just that!. 

The event offered Chevening scholars and a range of stakeholders the opportunity to hear the lived experience from distinguished Paralympian, Susie Rogers, established Sports coach and practitioner and about the disability inclusion focused research from across both campuses which provided the opportunity to interact with each other all through the medium of inclusive conversation which was shown to have the power to effect positive change.

The event was summed up by Ms. Emma Meads, Programme Manager of the Scholarship unit at the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). 


Chevening is an initiative of the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) which funds scholarships to enable outstanding and emerging leaders from all over the year to pursue a one-year Masters degree in the UK.   

Para Sport Against Stigma is a subprogramme of AT2030, a £20M initiative funded by UK Aid and led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub to increase awareness and access to Assistive Technology globally.