The second ParalympicsGB Sports Fest was hailed by double Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft today as a “fantastic success”.
Over 700 people attended over the course of the two-day event to try out different Paralympic sports and meet Paralympic athletes.
The festival of disability sport is the second held by the British Paralympic Association since the end of the London 2012 Games, following the inaugural event in Surrey in December last year. Over 20 Paralympic sports sent representatives, who provided demonstrations, come-and-try activities and information stands to the hundreds of attendees.
Double Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft welcomed the crowds of attendees, saying:
“Sports Fest has been a fantastic success over the past two days. It has been just amazing to see so many people of all ages, disabilities and sporting backgrounds under one roof wanting to find out more about how they can get involved in sport.
“Throughout Sports Fest I’ve been surrounded by people who want to see my medals, get their photo taken and get an autograph, so it’s great to know that they have been inspired by London. As an athlete you don’t always realise what an impact you have on people but today has shown me that my performance in London has had a direct influence on some of the people here today, and that’s incredible.”
Multi-medallist in Cycling, Jody Cundy experienced a similar feel-good factor. He said:
“It’s been over six months since the Games, but today at Sports Fest has really reminded me that London had a genuine and tangible impact on people, who are now much more engaged with the Paralympics than they were previously. To see so many young people in particular who have been inspired by London and now have had the opportunity to meet their heroes and have a go themselves has been fantastic and, to be honest, quite emotional.”
Chief Executive of the BPA, Tim Hollingsworth was delighted with the turn-out. He said:
“We knew the first Sports Fest would be well received because it was in 2012 and people were still very excited about London. Four months into this year, it is inspiring to know that the excitement is still there, and we have had over 700 people come along. Be it school kids or adults trying a sport for the first time, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we know we have found some individuals with genuine potential across a range of sports. Thanks to the hard work of all our sports, other partners and the Cadbury Foundation and volunteers, we can genuinely feel there is momentum here coming out of 2012 and that is obviously fantastic news.”
Sports Fest will be taken to other areas of the UK in the future. More details on future events will be announced in due course.
About The British Paralympic Association
The British Paralympic Association is the National Paralympic Committee for the UK, responsible for the promotion of the Paralympic movement in Great Britain and selecting, entering and funding the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic team. Find out more at www.paralympics.org.uk