October 7 - The 10 new team leaders that will work with ParalympicsGB athletes and officials in the build up to and during Rio 2016 have attended their first Team Induction Programme event today.
The Team Induction Programme has been developed by the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and its official services provider Deloitte, and its aim is to introduce new team leaders to their role and provide support and assistance as they work with their respective sports and national governing bodies during the Rio 2016 cycle.
Each team leader is nominated by a national governing body and the main functions of their role are to work with the BPA to provide sports-specific information and feedback throughout the planning process, including examining the preparation of competition venues and Athletes' Villages in the build-up to each Games.
The BPA officially accepted each of the national governing bodies' nominations for team leaders in September.
In all there are 21 team leaders for Rio 2016, with 11 of these returning retaining their role from London 2012.
The 10 new team leaders will attend a series of workshops between now and October 2014 to prepare for the role, before progressing onto the UK Sport funded Team Development Programme, which has been in place for several Games cycles and is designed to ensure the key leadership team at ParalympicsGB are best prepared for the challenges that they will face at a Games.
The first workshop for the first summer Team Development Programme is due to be held in autumn 2014.
Of the 10 new team leaders, two will be representing new sports that have been added to the Paralympic programme for the first time, in the form of Steve Harris for Para-canoe and Jonathan Riall for Para-triathlon.
"I am very pleased to be hosting our first Team Induction Programme event today with a full turn-out from our new team leaders," said BPA's director of sport Penny Briscoe, who is responsible for the Team Development Programme and for strategic leadership of the group.
"We have a talented group here with a variety of skills and experiences and I'm looking forward to supporting their development as team leaders over the rest of the cycle.
"These individuals are absolutely vital to our success as ParalympicsGB at a Games because they are such an intrinsic part of the team and part of our planning process.
"We always hope and expect that team leaders will challenge us in a positive way, so that for every Games we are pushing the boundaries to provide the very best environments for athletes and support staff so that they can focus on producing world-beating performances when it matters most.
"I am really pleased that we have such a great mix in the team leader group this time around and, in particular, to have so many returning team leaders coming out of a home Games cycle is brilliant.
"We have a balance of experienced team leaders who can support those new to this important role and who can bring all their knowledge to the planning process.
"Also, the newly-appointed team leaders will come to the workshops with a fresh perspective and will come up with questions or issues that we may not have considered."
The complete list of 21 ParalympicsGB team leaders includes:
Hilda Gibson, archery; Paula Dunn, athletics; Matt Hammond, boccia; Gareth Sheppard, cycling; David Hunter, equestrian; Jeff Davis, football; Jackie Sheldon, Goalball; Dave Sanders, judo; Steve Harris, Para-canoe; Jonathan Riall, Para-triathlon; Tom Whittaker, powerlifting; Louise Kingsley, rowing; Stephen Park, sailing; Pasan Kularatne, shooting; Chris Furber, swimming; Daniel Griffin, sitting volleyball; Gorazd Vecko, table tennis; Paul Davies, wheelchair basketball; Justine Willmott, wheelchair fencing; Lorraine Brown, wheelchair rugby; and Geraint Richards, wheelchair tennis.
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October 2013: Britain takes Paralympic team leaders and head coaches on visit to Sochi 2014
September 2013: University of Bath to host British Rio 2016 Paralympic preparation camps
June 2013: London 2012 manager takes on new operational delivery role at British Paralympic Association
May 2013: British Paralympic talent identification programme launched for Rio 2016
August 2012: ParalympicsGB finalise London 2012 preparations at University of Bath