Paralympic championships will provide "stage to inspire", claims UK Sport chief

Monday, 24 December 2012
By Duncan Mackay

Liz Nicholl at Olympic ParkDecember 24 - Having secured three of the world's most prestigious Paralympic events is a sign of Britain's commitment to build upon the success of London 2012, UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl has claimed. 

The IPC Athletics World Championships, IPC Swimming World Championships and ITF Wheelchair Tennis Singles Masters will all take place at London 2012 or Glasgow 2014 venues in the next five years following recent successful bids.

All have been secured as part of UK Sport's Gold Event Series, a £27 million ($44 million/€33 million) initiative which is designed to attract up 70 major championships in Olympic and Paralympic sports to Britain in the wake of London 2012.

"For the UK to secure three prestigious Paralympic events in quick succession demonstrates our commitment to build on the legacy of the wonderful Paralympic Games at London 2012 through the Gold Event Series," said Nicholl.

"The packed arenas proved there is clearly a great knowledge and appetite for Paralympic sport in this country and we are delighted these bids have proved successful.

"UK Sport announced a 43 per cent increase in funding for Paralympic Sports for the Rio 2016 funding cycle [last week] and hosting these world class events will also help support our athletes' performance ambitions as they build towards 2016.

"Through the Gold Event Series we aim to provide a 'stage to inspire' and there is no better way of encouraging participation than giving people the opportunity to see world class sport live."

These recent successful bids mean 17 events have already been secured as part of the Gold Event Series and with three major disability events now making up that number UK Sport's programme has won praise from the International Paralympic Committee.

"UK Sport have done a fantastic job in securing the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow and the 2017 IPC Athletics World Championships in London, two of the biggest Para-sport events outside of the Paralympic Games," said Xavier Gonzalez, the chief executive of the IPC.

"In doing so, UK Sport together with British Swimming, UK Athletics and the British Paralympic Association have shown their willingness and passion to build on the legacy the London 2012 Paralympic Games have left."

Set for London's Olympic Stadium one month ahead of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in 2017, the IPC Athletics World Championships will welcome more than 1,000 of the world's best athletes to the capital for the sport's showpiece event.

The 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships will be staged at Tollcross, the swimming venue for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and will be a crucial event for Britain's Paralympic swimmers as they look to qualify for Rio 2016.

Eton Manor in London 2012 wheelchair tennis modeEton Manor, seen here during London 2012, will host the ITF Wheelchair Singles Masters, starting in 2014

Featuring the world's top players, the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Singles Masters determines the world's number one player each year, and in 2014 until 2016 will take place at the London 2012 venue Eton Manor with the backing of UK Sport.

"London 2012 provided us with a fantastic opportunity to show the British public how exciting and competitive Paralympic sport is, and the packed stadia showed that there is a real appetite for watching Paralympic sport," said Tim Hollingsworth, the chief executive of the British Paralympic Association.

"It is therefore great news that there will be several opportunities for the public to see more elite disability sport through the events that are coming to the UK over the next few years.

"We know that London 2012 had a big impact on peoples' perceptions of disability and hopefully through these events even more people can see our athletes compete and we can continue to inspire shifts in the way that people think feel and behave."

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


Related stories
December 2012: London awarded 2017 IPC Athletics World Championships
December 2012: Glasgow to stage 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships
December 2012: London 2012 Olympic Park to stage 2014-2016 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters
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