Honors and Awards

Through the years, Kevin has received the following honors and awards:

2017 – Induced into Adaptive Sports USA Hall of Fame.
Kevin was recognized for his many achievements as a Paralympic & World Games athlete, as a multiple world record holder and medalist, and as recipient of Outstanding Male Athlete honors at the international level.

2016 – Won the 2016 Kansas City Film Fest “Heart Award” for his documentary short film “Finding a Champion Within – The Kevin Saunders Story.”

2015 – “Best Speakers Award” – Fortune 500 Magazine

2015 – Won two Telly® Awards for short film, “Finding a Champion Within – The Kevin Saunders Story”. Received a Silver Telly (the highest honor) in Documentary Film category and a Bronze Telly for Cinematography. The film was recognized from among nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries.

2014 – Won USATF Half Marathon Championships, Wheelchair Division

2013-2014 – Was featured in print, radio television, online internet campaigns and video as Kansas State University Kicks off Wildcat Way Campaign with Commercial Featuring Kevin Saunders, Top Motivational Speaker & World’s Greatest Wheelchair Athlete.

Six commercials featured as part of the Wildcat Way campaign, Saunders stars in one of only two to feature K-State alum. Kevin has been invited to return through 2014 for additional appearances.

Kevin selected for Wildcat Way Campaign

Addressing K-State Wildcats
2012 – Coach Bill Snyder asked Kevin Saunders after his presentation to the football team to come back to be the motivational coach as he had done in the past for the team. Some say this 2012 season for the Kansas State University Wildcats has been the 2nd greatest turnaround in college football history. As Kansas State University finished the regular season with its first ever #1 BCS ranking and an 11-1 regular season. As BIG XII Champions the Wildcats won an Alliance Bowl bid from Fiesta Bowl.

2011 – Won USATF Half Marathon Championships, Wheelchair Division

2011 – The The Woodlands committee chose Kevin Saunders to be the Grand Marshall of the 4th of July parade, one of the largest in the Southwest.
Grand Marshall, The Woodlands

Fitness 4 All 50 State Tour
2011 – Kevin Saunders founded the “Fitness 4 All 50 State Tour” nonprofit 501-c-3 dedicated to educate our nation’s youth, parents, teachers, administrators and the American people about the importance of staying active and making healthy choices for balanced nutritional meals or healthy snacks so it will last a lifetime.

2010 – The Kansas Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution No. 1819 sponsored by Senator Janis Lee adopted by the Senate body, supporting Kevin Saunders for the position of chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. After the reading of the Resolution the Senate & guests gave tribute to Mr. Saunders with 5 minutes of applause for his accomplishments and to support him for chairman of the President’s Fitness Council. Click here to read Senate Resolution

2010 – Nominated for Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports by U.S. Senator Pat Roberts

2009 – Nominated by US Senator Pat Roberts to be the next chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports.

2009 – K-State Football Team Awards winner of the Kevin Saunders (Never Give Up) Award – Grant Gregory (QB) Story More

2004-2008 – Named to Special Commission by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and the Department of Health and Human Services to come up with a plan to improve fitness and Health for youth with disabilities. Commended for his help in the creation of the National Initiative on Physical Fitness for Children and Youth with Disabilities or the I Can Do It, You Can Do It Program.

2007 – Appointed to the Governor’s Council on Fitness Council by Governor Sebelius, State of Kansas.

2006  – Honored by the World Health Organization and community of countries for his outstanding dedication to Fitness & Health, after touring through 5 countries in Europe – pushing his hand-cycle and wheelchair – promoting health and fitness and meeting with government officials, community leaders and many people along the way.

2004 – Commended for his outstanding contribution to fitness & health by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports, as well as the American Heart Association and YMCA’s of America, for pushing his racing wheelchair over 2,500 miles across to raise awareness of health and nutrition issues.

2000 – Outstanding Contributions to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, presented by Secretary Donna Shalala.

2000 – Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, American Association of Community Colleges. Selected from among 1,500 Community Colleges throughout America and Internationally.

2000 – Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, Wall of Fame, Del Mar Community College.

1999 – Nominee, Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

1998 – Support Award, Pratt Community College foundation for Student Scholarships.

1997 – Guest, “Hour of Power” television program. Chosen to be in their yearly calendar.

1995 – Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, Kansas State University.

1995 – Leadership Award, Texas A&M University.

1994 – Recognized with award for outstanding achievement for improving fitness in America by President Clinton and The President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports.

1993 – Bill Snyder Head Coach Kansas State University, Who has had the biggest turnaround in college football history, started the “The Kevin Saunders Never Give Up Award” – was awarded to the player who demonstrated the most courage, perseverance and determination to ‘Never Give Up’ in the pursuit of team goals.

1993 – Reappointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports by President William J. Clinton.

1993 – President’s Fitness Council Distinguished Service Award, presented by Chairman Arnold Schwarzenegger.

1993-2000 – Only person reappointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports by President Bill Clinton. Served as senior member for both terms.

1992 – Alumnus of the Year, Pratt Community College.

1992 – First person with a disability appointed to President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports by President George H. Bush.

1991 – Torch of Freedom Award, for Outstanding Sports Figure with a Disability.

1990 – First person with a disability/Paralympian appointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports by President George H.W. Bush.

1990 – Civic Leader of the Year, Given tothe professional athlete, celebrity chosen to be V.I.P of the Games – Special Olympics


2002 – Speaking Solutions, Advanced speaker training one of the nation’s top presentation consultants specializing in, training workshops, private coaching, corporate communication audits, strategy development

1995 – Barbara Rocha and Associates, Institute of Advanced Speaker Training, Pasadena, CA.

1991 – Robbins Research Institute San Diego, CA, Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

1990 – Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX, Associate of Arts Degree

  • Major – Physical Education, Acting
  • Honors – Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
  • GPA 3.87

1983 to 1984 – Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, TX

  • Post-Graduate Business Studies, MBA Program

1978 – Kansas State University Manhattan, KS

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Major – Agricultural Economics
  • Varsity Rugby Club
  • ATO Fraternity

1976 – Cloud County Community College Concordia, KS

  • Associate of Science Degree
  • Varsity Soccer
  • Varsity Track

1975 – Pratt Community College Pratt, KS

  • Associate of Science Courses
  • Varsity Football Player
Kevin Saunders is widely regarded as one of the most powerful motivational speakers alive today. Faced with severe paralysis, he overcame constant physical pain, overwhelming depression and self-doubt to become a World Champion athlete, author and inspiration to millions around the world – helping them to “Never Give Up!” in pursuit of their goals.

Let Kevin inspire and bring the champion out of every member of your audience.