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Allstate NI Queen's Graduate of the Year Award 2023-24

Paralympian and professional wheelchair basketball player, James MacSorley has won the Allstate NI Queen's Graduate of the Year Award for 2023, receiving his award at the University's annual Charter Day Dinner.

James MacSorley - the Paralympian who won bronze in wheelchair basketball at the Tokyo games - has praised the support he received from the Sports team at Queen's University Belfast.

The medal winner was named Allstate NI Queen’s Graduate of the Year at the University’s annual Charter Day Dinner

James is currently training to compete in the Paralympics Games in Paris next summer. He is also a World and European Champion and serves as an Ambassador for The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), an organisation which supports mental health and fitness for young adults.  

On receiving the award, James said:

“Being selected for this award was an absolute honour. Being involved in this as a wheelchair basketball player is a big step forward for disability sport in Northern Ireland.” 

James’ journey with wheelchair basketball began when he started playing with the Knights Basketball Team when he was 6 years old.  

Studying Law with Spanish, he graduated from at Queen’s University in 2017. The Queen’s Sport Bursary Fund supported James to continue pursuing his passion for wheelchair basketball alongside his academic studies. 

Karl Oakes, Head of Queen’s Sport and Physical Wellbeing, commended James on his achievements. 

He said: “I am delighted that James has been honoured with this award. He has reached the pinnacle of his sport and is a role model for any young person who wishes to achieve their potential in sport. He used the opportunity provided by the Queen's Sport Bursary Fund to further his sporting career, whilst flourishing academically in his subject. His spirit and courage epitomise the values that Queen’s seeks to foster in their students, and he is a worthy winner of the Allstate NI Graduate of the Year Award.” 

Thomas McLaughlin, Senior Manager at Allstate Northern Ireland, added:   

“It gives Allstate Northern Ireland great privilege to award Graduate of the Year 2023 to James. We are incredibly impressed with his achievements to date and how he echoes Allstate's values in giving back to the community. James, on behalf of Allstate Northern Ireland congratulations on all your achievements and thank you for all that you do through BRIT and Include Youth; you are an inspiration to us all.” 

Speaking about the award, Victoria Denoon, Vice-President, Queen’s Graduates Association said:

“James is an inspiration to us all. He has achieved the highest level of success in his sport and is a role model for many and uses his success to actively bring about social change and to encourage young people to reach their potential, no matter what barriers they might face.” 

Find out more about the Queen's Allstate NI Awards.