Leading Athletes to Take Part in London 2012's International Paralympic Day

IPD to be staged on Trafalgar Square 17 Aug 2011 By IPC

"Showcasing Paralympic Sport and our athletes in such a superb location, such as Trafalgar Square, will act as the perfect catalyst as we head towards tickets going on-sale."

In under one month’s time the UK public can look forward to a fantastic month of Paralympic Games promotions and activity, as the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) hosts International Paralympic Day on 8 September 2011 and launches tickets on 9 September for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Staged in Trafalgar Square, one of London’s most iconic locations, International Paralympic Day will be a great opportunity for the public to experience first-hand the inspiration and excitement that the Paralympic Games will bring to the UK and London next year.

A full day of activity is planned, to celebrate elite Paralympic sport and give the public a chance to find out about each of the 20 sports to take place at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. There will be demonstrations of a wide range of sports, including Wheelchair Basketball, Powerlifting, Sitting Volleyball and Wheelchair Rugby.

Highlights of the day will include the chance to see triple world record holder, Paralympic gold medallist and BT Ambassador Oscar Pistorius and witness a Guinness World Record attempt in Sitting Volleyball. There will also be an official invitation by the International Paralympic Committee to athletes and National Paralympic Committees around the world to participate in the London 2012 Paralympic Games next year.

There will also be the chance to meet and see top Paralympic athletes in action, with ParalympicsGB stars such as Ellie Simmonds, Sascha Kindred and Sam Scowan attending alongside leading international Paralympic athletes including Heinrich Popow and April Holmes.

Five of London 2012’s sponsors have also been announced as official supporters of International Paralympic Day. BT, Cadbury, Deloitte, Sainsbury’s and Samsung will be providing funding and expertise for key elements of International Paralympic Day.

Tickets for the Paralympic Games in 2012 will go on sale the day after IPD, with applications open from 9 to 26 September 2011. In total, approximately two million tickets will go on sale to the UK and international public and already more than one million people have registered their interest online. Over half of the tickets on sale will be priced at £10 or less and 75% at £20 or less.

Sports fans who want to come and experience the unique passion, drama and emotion of the Paralympic Games are able to sign up and register their interest in tickets at www.tickets.london2012.com before they go on sale from 9 September.

To complete this Paralympic activity, on 10 September Sainsbury's will be hosting Sainsbury's Super Saturday on Clapham Common. The day will feature demonstrations of Paralympic sport and live music from top UK acts including Pixie Lott, The Saturdays and Olly Murs. All profits from the event will go to the Paralympic Legacy Fund, set up in conjunction with ParalympicsGB.

Seb Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: ‘We’ve got a fantastic line-up of Paralympic activity due to take place in early September and hosting International Paralympic Day in Trafalgar Square is a great way to kick things off. It will be an exciting day and a great way for the UK public to find out about each of the 20 sports at the Paralympic Games and to get a chance to meet some of the world’s top Paralympic athletes.

‘The London 2012 Paralympic Games will inspire unique passion and I would urge everyone to get involved and register their interest in Paralympic tickets at www.tickets.london2012.com before they go on sale from 9th September.’

Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, said: ‘We are very excited that the fifth International Paralympic Day will be held in London following previous successful events in Bonn and Berlin and are delighted that so many leading athletes from around the world will be attending.

‘Showcasing Paralympic Sport and our athletes in such a superb location, such as Trafalgar Square, will act as the perfect catalyst as we head towards tickets going on-sale. It will give the public an opportunity to interact with our athletes, learn more about each sport and see for themselves just why the Paralympic Games is growing in popularity all the time.’

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said: ‘International Paralympic Day is a great opportunity for people to build-up their knowledge of the different sports that will be showcased at the Paralympic Games. London 2012 will be the biggest Paralympics in history and a chance for people in the UK to really get behind disability sport and Great Britain’s fantastic athletes.’

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘The 2012 Paralympic Games will be a fantastic finale to the ultimate summer of sport. Spectators will witness unique and captivating sports, with Paralympians competing at the highest level of their game, while Londoners and visitors enjoy the climax of our city-wide celebrations.

‘Marking International Paralympic Day at Trafalgar Square will give the world a tantalising taster of what is to come in less than a year, not least in the Square itself, which will host one of our Paralympic Live Sites during the Games.’

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association said: ‘The athletes are all working incredibly hard to produce their lifetime best performances at London 2012 and we want the whole nation to get behind them. We know that when people experience our sport and meet the athletes, it can really open their eyes to how exiting and engaging Paralympic sport can be. International Paralympic Day is a great way to encourage people to sign up for Paralympic tickets and show their support for the ParalympicsGB team in just over a year’s time.’

For those that are inspired to find out more about participating in disability sport they can visit Deloitte Parasport - www.parasport.org.uk - where users can search a more than 2,000 disability sports clubs across the UK or use the self assessment wizard to find a sport that’s right for them.

Spectators in Trafalgar Square on IPD can also visit BT’s Road to 2012 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. This Cultural Olympiad project features stunning photographic portraits of British Paralympic athletes alongside those of Olympic athletes and people who are working behind the scenes to make the Games happen.

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