John Willis

Power2Inspire was established following a triathlon relay in September 2013.

Founder John Willis, born without fully formed arms and legs, joined forces with able-bodied friends, Tim Martin and Henry Brown, to compete in an able-bodied triathlon relay at Eton Dorney rowing lake.

John undertook the swim, Tim the cycle ride and Henry the run.  Together they smashed their goal of not coming last – they finished 18th out of 27 teams – but more importantly realised it was great fun to participate in a mixed ability team.

Inspired by an advert showing non-disabled players joining a wheelchair user in a game of basketball, John established the core of the Power2Inspire’s mission – Inclusion through Sport.  Determined that his experience as a child of being excluded from sports, should not be repeated, he created the PowerHouseGames.

King’s College School, Cambridge was a willing partner and the first two inclusive and adapted sports days were held in their grounds. It was a King’s pupil, who created Power2Inspire’s No 1 Rule, “To Have Fun!”.

Power2Inspire added Festivals of Inclusive Sport in 2015, and have now hosted many inclusive golf, badminton, hockey, cycling and tennis events as well as our fantastic inclusive kilometre walk – the SuperSensory1k!

John continued his fundraising challenges with a swimming challenge in 2015, completing 50 1,000m swims in 100 days around the country and talking at every school and club along the way.

In 2016 in the run up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games John embarked upon another challenge, John’s Road2Rio, in which he completed all 34 Olympic and Paralympic sports! Watch the highlights video now.

John engages with his audiences – of young and old alike – with tales of his challenges, his experiences of a life with a disability and how to overcome barriers.  He has now spoken to over 6,000 people and would be delighted to come and speak to your school, club, company or community group: book John to speak.

The Charity has continued to grow and now we are running inclusive sports events across the country with strategic partners like Leicester Tigers Foundation, VISA, Marylebone Cricket Club as well as universities and schools from Cambridge, London, Warwick, Worcester and beyond.

In 2022 John handed over the CEO reins but remains at the centre of all the charity does as Chief Ambassador!

In 2023 John was keen to get fundraising again and came up with the 108 Challenge.

After a huge amount of training, John joined forces in the kayak with members of the community, other fundraisers, celebrities and sports stars to help him paddle along the River Thames from Cricklade to Eton, a distance of 108 miles over eight days!

As a result of this epic fundraising challenge, John has been shortlisted for the ITV Regional Fundraiser Pride of Britain Award. He is absolutely delighted.

You can see the ITV promotional film and read about John on the ITV website by clicking the image.

But John doesn’t work alone! He has some brilliant people around him helping to bring to life the Power2Inspire vision that No one is left on the bench.

Click the image to meet the Power2Inspire team of staff and trustees.