Legacy of Stoke Mandeville Stadium lives on during coronavirus pandemic

Birthplace of the Paralympic Games re-purposed to help vulnerable COVID-19 patients 08 Apr 2020
A general picture of a building
In three weeks, Stoke Mandeville Stadium was converted from a disability sports facility to healthcare centre for COVID-19 patients
ⒸStoke Mandeville Stadium

The birthplace of the Paralympic Games in Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain, has transformed itself from a disability sports facility into a healthcare centre during the coronavirus outbreak.

In three weeks, parts of the Stoke Mandeville Stadium have been converted to hold up to 240 beds for COVID-19 patients and re-purposed as a care centre for vulnerable adults.

The converted centre in Buckinghamshire will look after patients who no longer require acute care but are still not yet prepared to go home and are unable to remain at home because they have little support. The move helps free up spaces at hospitals and also provides focused care on some of the most vulnerable patients. It will be staffed by healthcare workers as well as volunteers with health or social care background.

Situated next to the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the Stadium is the national centre for disability sport in the country, featuring state-of-the-art amenities for Para athletes. The Stadium developed out of the Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948, which was the predecessor of the Paralympic Games.

In 1969, the Stadium opened as an international centre of sport for men, women and children with disabilities. It was redeveloped in 2003 to become a high-grade leisure complex, hosting sports camps, training academies, conferences and more. 

As of 8 April, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported over 51,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Great Britain.