It is always a pleasure to write about the achievements of performance athletes of the present but at the same time never forget, in this our 40th Anniversary Year, the talented performers of the past who have contributed so much to the development our movement.
There were a significant number of youngsters with spina bifida in Fife in the 70s and 80s and quite naturally the first Disability Sport Fife sports development programme centred around this section of the junior population. It became clear however that there were a significant number of potential participants in the Kingdom with cerebral palsy. A change of focus resulted in an explosion in performance sports development in Fife across all age groups in the sports of swimming, track and field in particular.
10 (5 men and 5 women) of the 25 Paralympians from Fife (1977 to present) competed in classes for athletes with cerebral palsy. Colin Keay, Aileen Harper, Ann Swann and Maxwell McKay led the way with medal winning performances at the Paralympic Games in New York in 1984 and the form continued with further medal winning performances at future Games from Kerry Taylor, William McQueen, Caroline Baird, Pauline Latto and Paul Johnston. The tenth Fife Paralympian with cerebral palsy may not have won a Paralympic Games medal but his contribution to performance sports development was equally significant.
Adam Morley was born south of the Border but spent most of his life in Scotland. Initially he lived in St Andrews but is now well settled in Glenrothes where he has contributed significantly to the development of disability sport in Fife. Adam attended Graysmill School in Edinburgh before registering as a College student in Fife. Adam initially worked in reception at the Fife Sports Institute where he influenced so many individuals with whom he came in contact. When the Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre opened, Adam resumed his duties as a Fife Sports and Leisure Trust telephonist.
While living in the east of Fife Adam travelled regularly to the Fife Sports Institute for land training with staff member David Sellar and water based training with others. It was only a matter of time before he moved to Glenrothes and following a short career as an international power lifter in the mid 80s, he committed himself totally to the sport of swimming. Adam’s first international experience was in a powerlifting competition in Belgium.
Swimming success at local and national level led to selection for Team GB for the Paralympic Games in Seoul in 1988, Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996. Adam offered so much more to Scottish and GB teams than simply swimming competency. Rarely without a smile, always available to chat, Adam is one of those special people who goes through life without an enemy and gathers around him so many friends. An exceptional sportsman and a wonderful ambassador for Disability Sport Fife and his wonderful family.
Adam has put so much back into disability sport as a long serving member of the DSF Management Committee. Adam has been a key DSF representative at Scottish Disability Sport AGMs and Branch Conferences. He has never been afraid to voice an opinion or represent the interests of athletes with severe mobility challenges and cerebral palsy specifically. Adam is one of the most respected Scottish disabled sports participants both locally and nationally.
Adam no longer competes as a swimmer and spends a lot of his leisure time listening to music, attending concerts and supporting his beloved Manchester United. Adam has a wide range of leisure interests and his knowledge of a wide range of subjects has made him a very important member of a local quiz team that also includes DSF Chairman Paul Noble. For many years the DSF Quiz Team reigned supreme at the East Fife Sports Council Annual quiz and in 2016 lost out on top spot by only one point. Adam has always been a key member. Adam also starred on the TV Quiz Show Eggheads.
Disability Sport Fife is proud to have a number of athlete ambassadors whom it can call upon to motivate others, raise awareness of the benefits of sport or share their life experiences as a performance sports person. Adam is a unique all round good guy. He was a top swimmer and one of a small number of athlete ambassadors who has given so much back to the disability sports movement in Fife over many years. Adam is always willing to listen, inspire and encourage novice athletes and players of all levels of ability. Adam has been the first line contact at the Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre for many and so many users are proud to call him their friend.
Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife