Monday, 23 April 2018

#BlogTour: Wheelchairs, Perjury & The London Marathon by Tim Marshall @Authoright @AuthorightUKPR

Published by Clink Street Publishing. Wheelchairs, Perjury & The London Marathon is available now. You can get your copy here. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and Rachel for inviting me on to the blog tour. 

The top wheelchair athletes of today enjoy the same high-profile exposure and admiration as their able-bodied counterparts. This has come about partly through wheelchair participation in mass fun-running events such as the Great North Run. Wheelchairs, Perjury and the London Marathon charts disability sports pioneer Tim Marshall MBE’s journey from the rock-climbing accident which left him paralysed, to becoming a trailblazer for wheelchair racing. The fun-runs of the 1980s enabled wheelchair road-racing to flourish, and Marshall took part in marathons and half-marathons where wheelchairs were welcome to compete. This did not, however, include The London Marathon, from which wheelchairs were banned for the first two years. This is the story of how this prohibition was overturned, told from the competitor’s point of view. Tim and many others campaigned for the inclusion of wheelchairs in The London Marathon in the face of huge opposition from the organisers. Finally, in 1983 the efforts of sportsmen and women, the press, the Greater London Council and members of parliament resulted in a breakthrough just ten days before the 1983 marathon, which at last agreed to wheelchair participation. Wheelchairs, Perjury and the London Marathon reveals the tenacity and resolve required to achieving sporting greatness in the face of adversity. Tim Marshall’s story — and the legacy he has helped build for disabled sports — are a testament to his love of racing and his passion for disability equality.

My Thoughts:

It is rather apt that I am able to talk to you today about Wheelchairs, Perjury & The London Marathon. I really enjoy reading non fiction of good quality and this one is no exception to that. The Author is himself disabled after enduring an injury to his spine when he was younger. 

Tim Marshall has written a blow by blow account of his battle to allow Wheelchairs to be included into the London Marathon. This is something that didn't happen until 1983 after a great amount of opposition and red tape. I found this absolutely shocking given the seeming appeal of the race and the inclusivity that always seemed evident. 

The fact that Tim Marshall was so persistent in his quest is inspirational and something for everybody to admire. The Press, other sports people, The Greater London Council and even Parliament had a hand in over turning the original ban. 

I am so glad that Tim Marshall was able to succeed in his quest for equality for those with disabilities and that he is able to remind us of his story. I hope that The London Marathon continues to be the celebration and spectacle that we have at the moment. 

Wheelchairs, Perjury & The London Marathon is highly readable and although descriptive it is a fairly short book. It gave me a great insight into the plight faced and disabled sports as a whole. 


About the Author:
Tim Marshall was born in 1946 and gained an M.Sc in Statistics from the London School of Economics, working at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris before taking up a position at Birmingham University. His lectureship in the Medical School followed by his appointment as Associate Professor in Epidemiology and Public Health ended with his retirement in 2006. He has enjoyed a lifelong love of sport including wheelchair racing, skiing and sailing.

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.

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