In 2005 Ade received an MBE for services to disability sport. His achievements are not limited to charitable endeavours, and promoting disability rights. His work as a wheelchair basketball player have earned him a Paralympics medal and inspired a generation of youngsters to follow in his footstep. He has worked tirelessly to show and promote the achievements of disabled people, and has shown that disability sport and achievement is second to none.
Ade Adepitan was born in Lagos, Nigeria in March 1973. At the age of fifteen months Ade contracted polio, which left him unable to use his left leg and with only partial feeling in his right. In 1976 Ade moved with his parents from Nigeria to the UK, settling down in Plaistow, Newham.
Ade learnt how to walk through the support of iron calipers, and was able to play football with friends. He was inspired to take on wheelchair basketball through the support of physiotherapist, Owen Mcgee who ran a charity called the Association of Wheelchair Children. The aim of the charity was to empower children with disabilities in East London, by teaching them invaluable independent living skills, through sport. Ade was introduced to wheelchair basketball, and from that point on, had the desire to chase Paralympic glory.
Ade was selected for the British team at the age of 18 and was selected for the Sydney Paralympics in 2000 finishing in fourth place behind the United States. He was part of the team that won the Bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Paralympic games.
Outside sport, Ade has enjoyed a successful television career. He has presented shows including Xchange on the CBBC Channel, the BBC Travel Show, the One Show as well as reporting for Sportsround. He was one of the main presenters for the Channel 4 coverage of the London Paralympic games, co-presenting The Paralympic Show with Rick Edwards. He will be reprising this role by covering the Rio Paralympics 2016. Ade is a patron for Scope and the Association for Wheelchair Children and is also an ambassador for the NSPCC and The Prince's Trust.
The legacy of the 2012 Paralympic Games saw an increase in the number of people participating in Paralympic sport, as well as increased government funding for disabled sport. The Paralympics saw record sales, more than it had ever achieved at previous Games. The British public had taken disabled athletes to their hearts, in the same way they had their Olympic heroes.
At the 2012 Paralympic games in London Ade was appointed as an Olympic ambassador, he anchored television coverage for the Paralympic Games for what became the most successful games in its history. His said of the Games “The thrill of being involved at the sharp end of London 2012 matched anything I experienced as a wheelchair basketball player: the camaraderie, the excitement, the sense of satisfaction at a job well done – it was just like being on court again”.