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Stoke Mandeville Stadium is the National Centre for Disability Sport in the United Kingdom. It is sited alongside Stoke Mandeville Hospital near Stoke Mandeville and Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. The stadium was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in August 1969.
The stadium developed out of the Stoke Mandeville Games — the forerunner of the Paralympic Games — founded in 1948 by Ludwig Guttmann. He was a neurosurgeon at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital who recognised the value of exercise and competition in the rehabilition of ex-members of the British armed forces. By 1961 Guttmann had founded the British Sports Association for the Disabled (now named English Federation of Disability Sport), expanding the concept of organising sport for men, women and children with disabilities and developing Stoke Mandeville Stadium into an international centre of disabled sport.
When Sir Ludwig Guttmann died in 1980 the Stadium was renamed Ludwig Guttmann Sports Centre for the Disabled. In 1993 the Stadium hosted the first international ex-service wheelchair games, organised by the Royal British Legion and opened by King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan. In 2001, following a £10million refurbishment, it was again renamed as "Stoke Mandeville Stadium".
Stoke Mandeville Stadium is owned by WheelPower, the national organisation for wheelchair sport in the United Kingdom.
Facilities include a 400-metre outdoor running track, Cazenove Sports Hall, a 25m six-lane swimming pool, tennis courts and an indoor bowls arena.
In addition the Stadium has its own "Olympic Village" accommodation for athletes and the Olympic Lodge Hotel and the Wolfson Conference Centre provide guest facilities.
Stoke Mandeville Institute of Sport and Education at the stadium provides specialist disability education and training for the sport and leisure sector.
Stoke Mandeville Stadium was one of the two venues of the VII Paralympic Games, the last of the Summer Paralympics not held in the same venue as the Summer Olympic Games.