Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Bradley Stuart: “If I Didn’t go to the World Games, I Don’t Think I’d Have a Job”

As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, Bradley Stuart, a football player with Special Olympics Great Britain, reflects on the profound effect that the experience has had on his life.

The Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, which took place from 17 – 25 June last summer, was the world’s largest inclusive sports event with over 6,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 178 delegations coming together to compete in the German capital for the first time in the movement’s history. Among these thousands of athletes competing in Berlin was Bradley Stuart whose story now forms part of a five-episode series celebrating the power of Special Olympics World Games.

Bradley—who is from Essex in England—underscores the transformative influence of sports and Berlin 2023 on his identity. Growing up, Bradley often felt isolated and experienced bullying at school. He says that, unfortunately, his peers just did not really “get” people with intellectual disabilities.

“Without football, I wouldn’t be who I am today”

Discovering his aptitude and love of football changed everything: "If I never started playing football, I don't think I would ever be who I am today. I think I’d be in my room and not really doing anything.”

He now holds a bronze medal from the World Games and works at a trade tools and accessories company, Screwfix. Bradley even credits his new job to the social confidence he gained at World Games. He says, “If I didn’t go [to the World Games], I don’t think I’d have ever got a job.”

Bradley admits that before the World Games began, he was nervous and did not want to attend. He opted out of the Opening Ceremony—a spectacular experience but one that could understandably be daunting—but he came into his own when the competition started. In a football match against the USA, Bradley scored an incredible four goals. His Dad, who is also his Special Olympics football coach, beams with pride as he recalls the moment, “I was actually crying after he scored [the fourth] goal. As a coach and as a dad, it was such a proud moment.”

At the World Games, Bradley thrived on and off the pitch—and the effect has been long lasting. He says, “I’m socializing a bit more, meeting new people.” Bradley’s Dad adds, “His confidence has gone through the roof.”

Tamara’s video was funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

Recommended Content

Special Olympics World Games 2023 - The Spirit Lives On

German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and Special Olympics Germany launch coach training courses in Africa.
1 Min Read

“I couldn’t believe that I had been selected!”

This week, Margaret Turley and the nine other new Sargent Shriver Global Messengers (SSGMs) from the 2024 to 2027 cohort are embarking on an intensive week of training in Washington DC. Just before Margaret flew out, we took the opportunity to get to know her a little better with a one-to-one interview.
3 Min Read

Thor and Joakim: One Coach, One Player, 25 Years

Swedish coach and player pair, Thor Guttormsen and Joakim Andersson, have undergone a long journey from new acquaintances to close friends, collecting accolades along the way and even attracting the attention of Zlatan Ibrahimovic!
3 Min Read