The British Paralympic Association (BPA) today announced that the second ParalympicsGB Sports Fest will be held at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield, on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27, 2013.
The second edition of the Sports Fest follows the fantastic success of the inaugural event, which saw over 1,000 people attend Surrey Sports Park in December 2012.
Sports Fest is a free two-day multi-sport event for disabled people which aims to capture some of the enthusiasm built up over the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The activities available include: come-and-try sessions for the vast majority of Paralympic summer and winter sports; meet the medallists, where attendees have the opportunity to ask questions, meet the athletes and receive autographs; and a series of seminars throughout both days designed to provide more information on all aspects of disability sport.
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the BPA, commented: “We were absolutely delighted with the response we received from the first Sports Fest event that we held last year. We had so many people through the door and we received such fantastic feedback from attendees that we were determined to hold another event early in 2013. It was also important that we visited another area of the country so that we provide an opportunity for as many disabled people as possible to attend, so we are pleased that we will be coming to Sheffield.
“The Sports Fest events are a crucial part of our commitment post-London to support the development of disability sport opportunities and make the most of the increased levels of interest in disability sport after the Games across the United Kingdom.”
Sports Fest will also include a presence from the BPA’s online club signposting tool Deloitte Parasport, (www.parasport.org.uk), which has proven very popular since the start of the Paralympic Games. Alongside Sport National Governing Bodies it also provides an excellent opportunity for important BPA partners such as the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) to engage with attendees and showcase their services.
Barry Horne, Chief Executive of English Federation of Disability Sport, said: “As the national body for sport and physical activity for disabled people throughout England, we were keen to be involved in the first Sports Fest last December. Our research following the London Games told us that disabled people are considering doing more sport now but not every disabled person can or will want to be a Paralympian or even reach elite standard. For many, just being active is enough. That is why EFDS are keen to ensure all opportunities are inclusive for people with every impairment and at a level they wish to take part at. We look forward to supporting the second Sports Fest in April to increase the number of disabled people who are active for life”.
Steve Brailey chief executive of Sheffield International Venues (SIV), which operates the English Institute of Sport Sheffield, said: ““We are extremely proud to be hosting the ParalympicsGB Sports Fest. It will be a great opportunity for disabled people to try out different sports and also find out more about coaching, volunteering or officiating.
“We have a strong association with disability sport. At London 2012, ParalympicsGB athletes who trained at our world-class facilities won six medals so it is fitting that we should be chosen to host this fantastic event.
“Our venues support both elite competitors and the local community. During London 2012, we put on a series of free taster sessions in Paralympic sports and they were extremely popular. We hope the Sports Fest will build on this and inspire even more disabled people to get involved with sport.”
The ParalympicsGB Sports Fest will go to different regions in the UK in 2013 and 2014. Register for the Sheffield event or for more information on future events via www.paralympics.org.uk.