Sitting_volleyball_from_Beijing_2008SEPTEMBER 21 - DAVID BLUNKETT, Britain's former Home Secretary who is blind, today called for the 2012 Paralympics to take place before the Olympics to help boost the event's profile.

Writing in his weekly column in the News of the World published today, Blunkett said: "The enthusiasm, anticipation and the media attention will actually touch the Paralympics if it is part of the build-up to the Games themselves.

"With a bit of ingenuity, it would be possible to persuade the the world's media and tourists to come that bit earlier and between the Paralympics and [Olympic] Games' opening ceremony to enjoy Britain's hospitality.

"But, of course, the real reason would be to ensure that there would be to ensure that there was a great deal more attention on those participating and their tremendous achievements."

Blunkett admitted that he used to be "sceptical" about the Paralympics but was won over by the enthusiasm for it by Tony Blair, who was Prime Minister when London were awarded the Olympics and Paralympics in 2005.

Blunkett wrote: "It [the Paralympics] has to be elevated to the run-in and not to the last post.

"I hope these with imagination, drive and championship quality will match the courage of the Paralympics in breaking new ground."