Paralympic medallists Sophie Wells, Will Bayley and Ben Quilter have called on the British public to show their support for the Paralympics by joining celebrations for National Paralympic Day in Nottingham, Brighton and Plymouth on Saturday July 25.
The three cities will be inviting residents to head down to their local event where they can enjoy free interactive and fun activities from 10am – 5pm. Fans – young and old, disabled and non-disabled – are all encouraged to have a go and test their skills to learn more about some of the extraordinary talents of our Paralympic athletes, plus find out how they can get more active.
At Jubilee Square in Brighton, London 2012 Paralympic medallists Will Bayley and Ben Quilter will be on hand to meet and greet fans, while Q&A sessions will give people the chance to ask questions and pick up sporting tips from the top.
Quilter, a London 2012 bronze medallist in Judo who was born and raised in Brighton, was delighted to see National Paralympic Day heading to his hometown.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to National Paralympic Day in Brighton, it’s going to be a really fun day and there will be plenty of opportunities for people to come along to try out disability sport and find out more about the Paralympics.
“It means so much to me that this is all happening in my home town, and I hope lots of people take a little bit of time out of their day to come along and join us.”
Table Tennis player and reigning world number one Will Bayley, who won silver and bronze at London 2012, added:
“Anyone can get involved in National Paralympic Day, so I’d encourage people to come and join us at Jubilee Square in Brighton on July 25 to see what it’s all about.
“The support from the British public since London 2012 has been incredible, and this is a really good way for people to feel part of it before the Games in Rio next year. I can’t wait to meet everyone who turns out to support National Paralympic Day, and to celebrate the day with them.”
Sophie Wells MBE, a multi-medallist in Equestrian, will be attending the event at Smithy Row in Nottingham on July 25. She said:
“Paralympic sport has so much to offer and I hope people will come along to get involved on National Paralympic Day. It’s a fun way to find out more about the different sports and understand some of the skills that British athletes have to master to go out there and compete with the world’s best.”
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, was very pleased to announce the regional events.
He said: “I’m delighted that we are taking celebrations for National Paralympic Day to these three cities for the very first time, building on last year’s regional celebrations in Liverpool and Birmingham.
“These events are a great way for people across the country to find out more about the sports that they’ll be watching in Rio in just over a year’s time. They can also enjoy meeting some of the athletes who made us so proud in those incredible days of sport that we witnessed during London 2012.”
National Paralympic Day is brought to Nottingham, Brighton and Plymouth with the support of Spirit of 2012, a trust established by the Big Lottery Fund to recreate the spirit that radiated from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics. Spirit is committed to funding partners who help challenge perceptions of disability.
Debbie Lye, Spirit of 2012’s Chief Executive, said: “The spirit that radiated from the London 2012 Paralympic Games is a huge inspiration to us and all that we do. I’m delighted that people in Nottingham, Brighton and Plymouth will have the chance to experience it first-hand, meeting ParalympicsGB medallists and getting the chance to try their hand at the sports themselves. With only a year to go until Rio, I hope National Paralympic Day will reignite the passion sparked by our winning London 2012 ParalympicsGB Team.”
In addition to the three regional events taking place on July 25, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London will light up the following day as National Paralympic Day joins up with The Liberty Festival to showcase the finest talent in disability sport and arts.
Paralympic heroes Ellie Simmonds, Ollie Hynd and Jessica-Jane Applegate are among the star names set to compete in the London Aquatics Centre, while GB athletes will also be looking to impress in the IPC Athletics Grand Prix final, hosted alongside all of the action for National Paralympic Day in the former Olympic Stadium.
Local sports clubs across the country can also get involved in celebrations by hosting their own event, whether that be a come and try session, a cake sale, or a Paralympic quiz.
For more information about the National Paralympic Day, people are encouraged to log on to www.paralympics.org.uk/npd2015.