December 9 - Global consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (P&G) will be British Paralympics' official nearest and dearest supporter for the upcoming Winter Games,it was announced today.
The partnership follows on from the London 2012 Games where P&G supported the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and British Olympic Association (BOA) in creating the nearest and dearest programme which looked to support the friends and families of athletes participating at the Games.
"P&G were an excellent partner for the BPA during the London programme and I am delighted that they have decided to continue their valuable work with our nearest and dearest for Sochi," said BPA chief executive Tim Hollingsworth.
"The BPA is in a good position now in relation to its partnerships but we are always looking for additional partners who can enable us to provide extra support and resource to ParalympicsGB for the Games, and so I am very pleased to welcome back on board P&G's experience in this area from London 2012."
The nearest and dearest programme is designed to help the families and friends of athletes competing in the Paralympics in the build-up to and during the competition.
The team behind the initiative believe that friends and family play a crucial role in the development of an athlete and ultimately in the athlete's success, and understand how important it is for an athlete to have those closest to them present whilst they prepare and compete at a Games.
As part of the programme, the nearest and dearest will be invited to join their athlete at the event, which will include a celebratory dinner and a series of workshops to provide information about what close relatives can expect in Sochi.
There will also be a dedicated website, which will provide news and regular updates to relatives.
"As a company we are delighted to have the opportunity to continue to support the ParalympicsGB nearest and dearest programme during the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games," said Irwin Lee, managing director of Procter & Gamble UK.
"We recognise how important it is for the Paralympic athletes to know that their friends and families are supported in this way, so that they can focus on what they do best.
"This is our way to keep thanking mums, including those of ParalympicsGB's athletes."
Penny Briscoe, Chef de Mission for Britian's Paralympic team at Sochi 2014, added: "Athletes are some of the first people to acknowledge the crucial role that their family and friends play in their development and ultimately in their success.
"We know and understand how important it is to athletes and family alike that the people close to them can be present when the athlete is preparing and competing at a Games, and that's why we at the BPA feel so strongly that the nearest and dearest programme is crucial to get right.
"As Chef de Mission, I am excited to see that P&G's backing will enable the BPA to provide world-class support, not just for the athletes, but also for their network of nearest and dearest as we all prepare for Sochi 2014."
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August 2012: P&G to sponsor London 2012 Paralympic ball which is set to attract sporting stars and celebrities
July 2012: Team GB house revealed with "nearest and dearest" at its heart
April 2012: Procter & Gamble campaign films put top athletes' mums in spotlight
January 2012: Irish athletes to receive full backing at London 2012 thanks to P&G
October 2011: P&G help athletes' nearest and dearest provide support at London 2012