WheelPower National Junior Games set to get underway at Stoke Mandeville
Monday, 01 October 2012
October 1 - Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games, is set to host the annual WheelPower National Junior Games this week just over a month after the famous venue was used to light the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.
Stoke Mandeville was chosen as the location where the London 2012 Paralympic Flame (pictured above) should be created as it is the place where German neurologist Sir Ludwig Guttmann sowed the seeds for the Paralympics in 1948 when he organised sporting competition for injured patients rehabilitating from World War Two at the local Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
The WheelPower National Junior Games, which will take place from tomorrow until next Sunday (October 7), will see Thomas Cook Children's Charity as the lead supporter for the first time ever as over 200 children with disabilities join together to try new sports and receive expert coaching.
The event will incorporate the National Junior Games for young people with a physical or sensory impairment and the National Junior Wheelchair Games for those that use a wheelchair to participate in sport and Britain's 11-times Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson believes the event will be a huge hit following the success of London 2012.
"Some of the athletes who competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games were encouraged to take up sport by taking part in a National Junior Games at Stoke Mandeville," said Baroness Tanni, who is a patron and board member of WheelPower.
"It's really important that we inspire young disabled people to take part in sport and securing the Junior Games for three years is a great achievement.
"Thank you Thomas Cook Children's Charity."
The Thomas Cook Children's Charity, which receives donations from its United Kingdom employees and customers, has committed £150,000 ($242,000/€188,000) to be the lead partner of the WheelPower National Junior Games for the next three years.
"Our charity is all about making dreams come true for sick and disadvantaged children and working with WheelPower on their amazing junior games is the epitome of our mission," said chairman of the Thomas Cook Children's Charity Pete Constanti.
"The chance that games like this give to wheelchair bound and disabled children is beyond what we can imagine, especially after so many of them will have been inspired to try new sports after the Summer's performance by our very own Olympians and Paralympians."