By Stuart Newman

Sochi 2014_team_22_AugustAugust 25 - A special party of more than 100 people, consisting of the Organising Committee's employees, volunteers and representatives of bodies involved in the preparations for Sochi 2014, has travelled to London to gain experience of how best to stage a Paralympic Games.

The delegation (pictured top), travelling to Britain under the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Observer programme, will visit all the main venues and attend seminars on key topics such as Games management, the organisation of client services at the Games, brand management and protection, the operation of the venues and Paralympic villages, ceremonies, communications and press operations, legacy and sustainability.

A number of Sochi 2014 Organising Committee members will also work alongside their London 2012 counterparts through an IPC internship lasting between two and five months.

In addition, 24 pre-trained Sochi 2014 volunteers will assist in in this year's Paralympics before, once back home in Russia, passing on their knowledge to their Winter Paralympics colleagues.

The ground-work ahead of the Sochi 2014 Paralympics has already led to a growth in awareness of Paralympic sports in Russian society, and the Sport 1 and Russia 2 TV channels plan to build on this by airing programmes during the London 2012 Games.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games – which takes place from March 7 to 16 – has already served as a catalyst for positive change in the region, with the construction of a barrier-free environment and the drive to properly integrate people with a disability into society by developing accessible transport, roads, sports venues and public infrastructure which take account of their needs.

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