GB Wheelchair Basketball player, Paralympic medallist and World & European Champion, James MacSorley
We are delighted that James is part of our BRIT Ambassador family to support and improve young adult and student mental health and fitness throughout the UK.
James is a Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball player who won bronze at the 2020 Paralympic Games and is a World and European Champion.
“I am passionate about supporting and improving young adult mental health and fitness as I have experienced mental health challenge growing up and having lived with a disability all my life. I appreciate that this is a very challenging time for young adults and students; especially for those who are vulnerable or who have existing mental health difficulties.
As a former student at Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School and Queen’s University, Belfast, I know the importance of students and young adults receiving support and access to vital services when they need it.
BRIT are determined to support and improve the mental health, wellbeing and fitness of all young adults and students in the UK; their annual BRIT Challenge is an exciting opportunity that every UK university and college can embrace for the benefit of all their students and staff. I am delighted that the BRIT Challenge is inclusive and has been designed so that young adults and students of all abilities can take part in many different ways; at home or on campus.
I feel honoured to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family, and uniting with Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities, to encourage universities and colleges to enter teams, support students and staff as they complete their BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion.
I look forward to championing BRIT and the BRIT Challenge in Northern Ireland so that all our universities and colleges enter teams and are part of this exciting feel-good February fundraiser. I’ll also be encouraging sports personalities in Northern Ireland to join the BRIT Ambassador family.
I would be delighted to support students and staff at Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School, Queen’s University, Belfast and Ulster University as they take on the BRIT Challenge.”
Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Player, Paralympic medallist and World and European Champion
James, who was born with spina bifida, was introduced to Wheelchair Basketball when he was six years old by his mother, Anne, and his father, Michael. James’ sister, Eimear, also played Wheelchair Basketball for the Carlisle Panthers. Their mother, Anne, fought for them to attend a mainstream school and be active in sport.
James continued to pursue his dream of playing professional Wheelchair Basketball after playing at the Knights Wheelchair Basketball Club in Antrim.
The Knights provided the platform for James to develop his basketball skills and he progressed to play full-time for the Sheffield Steelers. James has also represented Northern Ireland.
James attended Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School in Belfast, then between 2013 and 2017, completed his Bachelor of Laws (Common and Civil Law with Hispanic Studies) at Queen’s University, Belfast.
In 2016, James helped make history when he was part of the Great Britain Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team who won gold at the U23 Men’s World Championships in Canada.
In addition to representing Great Britain, James is based in Spain where he plays for the Spanish elite team ADM Econy Gran Canaria.
James was part of the 12-man Great Britain squad that currently holds World and European Championship titles, having won gold at the 2018 World Championships in Hamburg.
In 2021, James represented Great Britain at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo where the squad won Bronze Medal.
To learn more about Wheelchair Basketball. Please visit the British Wheelchair Basketball website.
James is a Patron of Include Youth. Include Youth is a regional rights-based charity for young people in or leaving care, from disadvantaged communities or whose rights are not being met to improve their employability and personal development. They work with children and young people between the ages of 14-24.