By Tom Degun

us paralympicsJanuary 20 - BP have launched a fundraising campaign in support of four local United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Paralympic Sport Clubs by selling window clings for $1 (£0.63/€0.75) at participating BP stations across New York and New Jersey.

The campaign is being run by BP Products North America, the exclusive energy partner of Team USA, alongside New York and New Jersey BP station owners with the window clings set to be on sale from now until February 28.

The four Paralympic Sport Clubs set to benefit from the funding raising are Children's Lightning Wheels, North Jersey Navigators, Row New York and City of New York Parks & Recreation.

The proceeds will help all four in terms of funding new equipment, participant outreach and training for coaches.

The money will also help create competitive athlete scholarships to further the Paralympic Sport Clubs' mission of providing competitive and recreational sports opportunities for individuals with physical and visual disabilities.

"Participation in Paralympic sport has a profound positive impact on the lives of individuals with physical and visual disabilities," said the USOC chief of Paralympics Charlie Huebner.

"This grassroots support from BP, its branded marketers and customers is not only going to help us grow Paralympic sport, it will also help improve the lives of thousands of individuals."

BP branded marketers donated more than $300,000 (£189,120/€225,355) in 2012 to 20 Paralympic Sport Clubs in 19 areas around the United States.
More than 80 per cent of those donations have come from New York and New Jersey BP branded marketers who presented $240,000 (£151,296/€180,284) of the donated funds to four local Paralympic Sport clubs in the New York and New Jersey area.

Ray Martin 2Ray Martin, who won four gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, has backed the Paralympic Sport Clubs initiative after coming through the programme himself

Around 80 per cent of the USOC's network of Paralympic Sport Clubs have reported an increase in programme recruitment and participation during the past year, although the majority of them face funding challenges.

US wheelchair racing star Ray Martin, who won four gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the T52 class, has thrown his support behind the programme.

"Without the North Jersey Navigators Paralympic Sport Club, I wouldn't be where I am today," said Martin.

"The Paralympic Sport Club has not only given me the opportunity to compete at an elite level, but has provided me with great support and a sense of community.

"Paralympic Sport Club members and aspiring athletes alike are grateful to sponsors like BP who are dedicated to the cause and helping to elevate the Paralympic Movement."

The Paralympic Sport Clubs look to provide disabled people with opportunities to be physically fit and active and individuals and those who have the interest and skills to pursue disability sport at a higher competitive level.

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