London 2012 mascot Mandeville given permanent home at Paralympics birthplace
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
January 22 - Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Buckinghamshire will provide a permanent home to one of the 83 decorated Olympic mascots which were placed in London for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, after Lloyds Banking Group donated one of the Mandeville sculptures to the National Centre for Disability Sport.
The "Splashy" Mandeville sculpture will take up permanent residence at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the National Centre for Disability Sport, in the village that he was named after.
Stoke Mandeville is celebrated as "the birthplace of the Paralympics", after Dr Ludwig Guttmann organised javelin and archery events for patients of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville hospital in 1948, to coincide with the Olympic Games in London that year.
The Games went on to become national and international, before the term "Paralympic Games" was first used at Seoul 1988 to signify that the Games ran "parallel" to the Olympic Games.
"We are delighted to welcome 'Splashy' to his permanent home here at Stoke Mandeville Stadium." said Martin McElhatton, chief executive of WheelPower, the national organisation for wheelchair sport in the UK, based at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.
"I am very grateful to Lloyds Banking Group for the generous gift and their continued support of WheelPower and all the work that goes on here at the stadium.
"We have thousands of children that come to the stadium and we know Splashy will bring a smile to the faces of those who see him."
Eva Eisenschimmel, Group Marketing Director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: "Our relationship with Stoke Mandeville Stadium is very important to us, and a number of my colleagues have been involved with fundraising events for WheelPower.
"It was also a great experience to attend the Paralympic Torch Relay Flame Festival; it was a wonderful event, which was so full of anticipation.
"We are delighted to be able to handover 'Splashy' to everyone at Stoke Mandeville, I couldn't think of a better place for him."