Tim HollingsworthIt is a year next week since the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The focus of all involved may now be on other things (indeed, I am currently in Brazil planning for the Rio 2016 Games) but I doubt any of us will tire of people's desire to remember it, share their experiences and views and reflect on its impact.

It was a special moment in time for the Paralympic Movement and for disability sport in general. The performances of all the athletes at the Paralympic Games made the whole country sit up and take notice, whilst the incredible support and praise for ParalympicsGB will live forever in the minds of those who received it.

For 11 days, disabled people's achievements were front page news. The nation celebrated a new generation of sporting heroes. Poll after poll conducted at the time reported that non-disabled people had their perceptions of disability challenged and improved, proving what we at the BPA had long suspected - that the Paralympics is a very powerful tool to help drive change and wider social inclusion. The impact was particularly strong among younger people, and since the Games the incredible reaction to our athletes in schools has suggested a profound impact that may only truly be felt in a generation's time.

London 2012 was a special moment in time for the Paralympic Movement and disability sportLondon 2012 was a special moment in time for the Paralympic Movement and disability sport

Equally, one year on, no one involved should be naive enough to state that as a result of the Games the lives of disabled people now have been transformed, and the many difficult issues they face resolved. There is no "silver bullet" here, and to suggest London was it misses the point. This is a journey that will take much longer. We are nowhere near the summit, more in the foothills of the mountain that collectively we still have to climb.

What the Paralympics did was set up base camp. It created an opportunity, a fantastic positive platform for debate and action that must not now be ignored. I see much that is positive. It is good that there is increasing coverage of issues that affect disabled people and increasing visibility for disabled people on mainstream media, be it Channel 4's disabled presenters presenting programmes about subjects other than the Paralympics or sport (witness Ade Adepitan's fine documentary this week on polio), or the success and acceptance of Jack Carroll on Britain's Got Talent.

It is also welcome that some of our athletes have chosen to contribute to the debate and use their newly acquired profile to explain some of the challenges that they face in daily life and call for change. At the same time, we should be clear that is not their job and we should respect the right of others to continue to focus solely on their sport and let their performances do the talking. The logic that suggests that someone's ability to swim, ride or run fast automatically qualifies them for political discourse is flawed.

That same caveat applies to the British Paralympic Association too. Ask me as chief executive what our major contribution to the legacy debate should be and I will say primarily it is to continue to focus on the winning of medals at the Paralympic Games. That will continue to create the spotlight, the media attention, the positive role models and the challenge to perception that can help drive many other agendas.

We can and should also involve ourselves in promoting the wider Paralympic Movement, to provide opportunities for its power to be unleashed. Alongside fantastic events such as the recent Sainsbury's Anniversary Games and some good profile for events like the IPC World Athletics and Swimming Championships in 2013, we have sought to create a platform for change with two high profile events.

The first is "National Paralympic Day", a fantastic celebratory event being held for the first time on 7 September this year, with elite level international competition in four sports on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park supplementing educational and promotional activity in schools and disability sports clubs across the UK. Our aim is to re-create some of the wonder of London and through that remind everyone of all the positive things they witnessed and felt during those Games. National Paralympic Day will I hope continue to do this annual basis through to Rio.

The other is the "ParalympicsGB Sports Fest" concept I announced during London 2012 - a series of sports festivals based on the inspiration of the Games and our athletes to seek to introduce sport to disabled people and encourage them to get involved. A two day event, we have held two so far, with the first In Surrey last December attracting over 1,000 people through the door and the second in Sheffield in April nearly 700.

The ParalympicsGB Sports Fest has been a great platform for introducing people to disability sportThe ParalympicsGB Sports Fest has been a great platform for introducing
people to disability sport

Sports Fest has created a great platform. More than anything we have seen a massive increase in people wanting to find out more. This is a crucial step for disability sport - it is important that people understand that disability sport isn't just about the Paralympics, but that instead there is an ever-increasing number of opportunities to play it recreationally.

This shift is confirmed by the evidence of our members. British Wheelchair Basketball, for example, has seen a 25 per cent increase in people wanting to play at their local club and disability specific sports like wheelchair rugby and boccia has also reported a substantial growth in the number of people wanting to play.

All of this shows that the Games inspired and encouraged some disabled people to get active - against a backdrop where in general terms disabled people have lower income levels and yet higher living costs than non-disabled people and in the current economic climate are feeling the squeeze more than most.

I do believe the platform for positive debate and change does exist therefore as a result of London. I am under no illusion that disabled people face numerous barriers and know that the BPA is not the organisation that can fix all of those. There is much good work going on by many other numerous organisations - sporting and non sporting - to try to address these: for example the Club Toolkit developed since the Games by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) and the brokering of the Sainsbury's Active Kids for All partnership with the Home Nation Disability Sport Organisations, providing disability sport inclusion training for PE teachers in schools across the UK.

We should not underestimate how far we still have to go and no doubt others in the sector will use the London anniversary to highlight weaknesses and areas needing urgent reform and change. While these exist, I hope that the positive platform we have collectively created and the hard work that went into it will be acknowledged. London 2012 was amazing and very special. One year on we should remember it that way.

Tim Hollingsworth is the chief executive of the British Paralympic Association (BPA)