By Duncan Mackay

Lee 2520Pearson.1March 22 - BT, a tier-one London 2012 sponsor,  have signed nine-times Paralympic gold medallist Lee Pearson (pictured) and Nathan Stephens, who has competed in both the Winter and Summer Paralympics, as ambassadors.

Pearson, one of the world’s leading Paralympians, and Stephens, who competed in sledge hockey at Turin in 2006 and athletics at Beijing last year, are the latest names to join BT Ambassadors programme, which aims to inspire their employees and customers to support and mentor the young British hopefuls aiming to compete in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The athletes, who will benefit from funding from BT are also set to become the British faces of the firm's sponsorship of the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester this May.

Phil Lane, the chief executive of ParalympicsGB, expressed his pleasure with the continued support that BT are pledging to Paralympic sport in this country.

He said: “BT has always shown a tremendous level of support to ParalympicsGB and Paralympic sport in general and it’s fantastic to see them continuing to get behind our athletes.
"For Lee and Nathan to have such high profile sponsors come on board is fantastic, as it should allow them to focus on their training ahead of London 2012.”

The deal was arranged by Catch Sport, the Brentwood-based marketing company set up by 1998 Commonwealth Games fencing silver medallist Karim Bashir.

Theo Champan, the head of Marketing for BT London 2012, said: “Catch Sport helped us identify the right athletes, negotiate the right packages and put in place contracts.

"Catch Sport’s support was professional and appropriate at all times."
Bashir said: "Working closely with Theo and his team has been fantastic and I am pleased that we
have been able to demonstrate how valuable a service we can offer.
"I am delighted that we have been able to assist in growing the BT Ambassador programme with two fantastic Paralympians.
"You don’t get better than Lee Pearson’s three gold medals at each of the last three Paralympic Games and Nathan Stephens is an inspiration to us all; competing at the last Winter Paralympics in 2006 and to then go on and compete last year in Beijing at the Summer Games."

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