Paralympic and World Champion and World Record Holder, Mark Colbourne MBE, joins the BRIT family
We are delighted that Mark has joined our BRIT Ambassador family. Mark is a former World and Paralympic Cycling Champion from Wales who competed for ParalympicsGB at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
“I am delighted to join the BRIT Ambassador family and champion the BRIT 2021 Challenge in Wales to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness.
The BRIT 2021 Challenge is a super opportunity for every Welsh university, college and student union to enter teams and encourage their students and staff to take part. The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the existing mental health challenges faced by many young adults. At this unprecedented time, it is vital that young adults and students are provided with timely mental health support and we do everything in our power to improve their mental health and fitness.
The BRIT 2021 Challenge has been designed to enable young adults of all abilities to participate on campus or at home; students and staff can add their miles to their team’s 2,021 mile target. I am thrilled that the challenge is fully inclusive with many ways to take part including hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding). In addition to the delivery of the BRIT 2021 Challenge, BRIT is delivering inspiration and encouragement through their Ambassadors; Olympians, Paralympians, sports personalities, adventurers and explorers who are uniting to support and improve young adult mental health. I urge my fellow Welsh Olympians, Paralympians and athletes to join our BRIT Ambassador family so that together, we can support young adults and students at every Welsh university and college.
I look forward to encouraging students and staff at Coleg y Cymoedd, Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University to take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge and supporting their team’s efforts.”
Mark played volleyball at international level for Wales between 1990 and 1993. In 2009, when forced into an emergency landing whist paragliding, Mark sustained life-changing spinal injuries. Determined to live life to the full, Mark began cycling through Disability Sport Wales and competed in the C1 classification; for riders on upright bikes with the most severe disabilities. Mark trained with Neil Smith, a disabled cycling coach, at the Newport Velodrome and made his first appearance at a track race in the 2010 Wales Grand Prix. In 2011, Mark won his first UCI Para-cycling World Cup medals and took bronze in his debut World Cup level time trial in Segovia, Spain. Mark went on to win silver in Baje-Comeau, Canada round of the same event. In the same year, Mark won silver at the 2011 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Roskilde, Denmark. Mark won his first world title at the 2012 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles, USA when he took gold in the C1 3km individual pursuit. At the same World Championships, Mark won the silver medal in the C1 1km time trial. In 2012, Mark was selected to represent Great Britain a the Summer Paralympics. He won silver, and Great Britain’s first medal of the Paralympics, in the C1 3 km time trial and the next day Mark won gold in the C1 3km individual pursuit. He broke the world record in both the qualification round and the final.
In 2013, Mark was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year Honours list for services to cycling and took the decision to retire later that same year. Mark is now a world renowned speaker who works with corporations and businesses, delivering key messages on “Change and Mindset”. He has also created workshops to improve health and wellbeing. To read more about Mark’s inspiring story, please visit his website. If you would like to read more about disability sport in Wales, please visit the Disability Sport Wales website. For more information on para-cycling, please visit the British Cycling website.