The Special Olympian combining his passion for sport and art
Special Olympics cyclist Niall Guite is matching his pedal power prowess with some eye-catching art.
Niall, who is representing Team Special Olympics GB at the Berlin 2023 World Games in June, started drawing in lockdown and raised more than £6,000 for the charity with illustrations of 26 football stadiums.
His work has been praised by Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry on social media and last year was exhibited at the Royal Academy of the Arts’ Summer Exhibition.
Niall’s artistic passion has recently been drawn to rugby’s Guinness Six Nations tournament, producing drawings of the championship’s six iconic venues - Twickenham Stadium, Principality Stadium, Stade de France, Murrayfield, Aviva Stadium and Stadio Olimpico.
“I have always been a fan of rugby and watch the Six Nations every year,” Niall said.
“One of the great things about rugby is that all the fans sit together.
“I wanted to honour the games and the best players that I’ve seen through the use of colour, to capture the uniqueness of each stadium and the support from each nation’s home fans.”
Last year Niall became the first Special Olympic GB athlete to deliver a TED Talk, through the University of Manchester’s TEDx programme, speaking for 12 minutes about his ‘Art with a Special Goal’ fundraising project and his journey with the Special Olympics GB.
Niall started out as a basketball player and then switched to cycling to ensure he could continue to attend the Special Olympics World Games.
“I wanted a sport that would challenge and push me as a person,” he said. “My dad is a cyclist, so it made sense to start there.”
For further details on Niall's art, please visit www.niallguite.com