London 2012: Annual disability sport festival to be Paralympic legacy
06:19 05 September 2012
An annual festival of disability sport is to take place on the Olympic Park as part of the legacy of the London 2012 Games.
The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the body in charge of the Park after the Games, has pledged £2million towards a Paralympic legacy on the site.
The money will be used to establish an annual festival of disability sport and new sporting, leisure and employment opportunities.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to benefit from the Paralympic Legacy Programme, which will build on the success of the Paralympic Games, according to the LLDC.
New homes, public spaces and sporting venues that are accessible will be created by the programme, and a range of sports for disabled people, including wheelchair rugby, boccia, wheelchair basketball and Goalball in the Copper Box, will be introduced.
Daniel Moylan, chairman of the LLDC, said: “This has been the most successful Paralympics in the history of the Games. Thousands of people will be inspired to get involved in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and we want to make sure there are opportunities for everyone.
“Just as we have set the blueprint for legacy, we are also setting the standard for providing accessible venues and parklands, along with employment and training opportunities for disabled people.”
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “The Paralympics have captured our hearts and minds and the success of ParalympicsGB provides us with new heroes to emulate. With the Olympic Park set to become London’s newest neighbourhood, today’s announcement shows how the new facilities, training and job opportunities, and sports events will be accessible and open to everyone long after the Games have left town.”
The LLDC’s investment will deliver a host of accessible features in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park including a Paralympic Legacy Ambassadors programme that recruits Paralympians and other disabled people to be community champions and Park mentors, and an inclusive gym for disabled athletes, which will be added to the Multi Use Arena, as the Copper Box will be known after the Games.
Xavier Gonzalez, chief executive of the International Paralympic Committee, said: “The International Paralympic Committee congratulates the London Legacy Development Corporation for their commitment to securing the Paralympic legacy of the Games.
“By working with the operator of the venues on the Park now, they are ensuring that Paralympic sports will continue to be at the heart of the sporting legacy. Commitments like these give me confidence that London will continue to lead the way on having an inclusive and accessible legacy from the Games.
“The Legacy Corporation is working now to create a Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that will be open to all to enjoy and in doing so, London is unique among host cities in their foresight in planning for both the Olympic and Paralympic legacy of the Games.”