The BT Paralympic World Cup will take place in Manchester from 22-26 May 2012. The best elite international athletes will descend upon Manchester to compete in this crucial build-up event just 100 days before the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
This year’s event will include Wheelchair Basketball, Athletics and Football (7-aside), with international matches taking place in Boccia and Sitting Volleyball during the event.
Channel 4, the London 2012 Paralympic Games host broadcaster, will provide multi-platform coverage of the BT Paralympic World Cup for a second year, compounding its commitment to raise awareness of Paralympic sport.
BT has been the title sponsor of the BT Paralympic World Cup since 2009. As the only annual elite international multi-sport disability event in the world, it was created to bridge the gap between the four-yearly Paralympic Games.
Suzi Williams, Director, BT Group Marketing and Brand, said: “The 2011 BT Paralympic World Cup was a fantastic event and this year’s competition will raise the bar even higher. It’s a must-attend event for the world’s best Paralympic athletes as they prepare for London 2012. I know for many of us it effectively fires the starting gun on elite Paralympic sport this year in the UK. What a year it's going to be.”
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, commented: “The BT Paralympic World Cup continues to form a major part of the British and international disability sport calendar, drawing competitors from across the world to Britain to test themselves in a world-class sporting competition. This year it will undoubtedly form a big part of many athletes’ preparations for the London 2012 Paralympic Games and will be a great opportunity for the British public to show their support for British athletes in advance of the Games.”
Deborah Poulton, Project Leader Paralympics at Channel 4, said: “As the host broadcaster of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Channel 4 is committed to raising awareness of Paralympic sport and its elite nature across the year to give it the prominence it deserves. The BT Paralympic World Cup is a great example of this as it brings together some of the best Paralympians in the world over four days of sporting excellence and Channel 4 will once again put our viewers at the heart of the action.”
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture & Leisure, commented: “Manchester is proud to welcome the world's best Paralympic athletes to our sporting city for the eighth year of the BT Paralympic World Cup. We are delighted to be playing a major role in Team GB's preparations for the London 2012 Paralympic Games by hosting this top-class event which provides a great opportunity for our athletes to take on the world's best. I am looking forward to another exciting competition, continuing Manchester's association with disability sport and showcasing our world-class venues to a global audience."
Swimming has been involved in the BT Paralympic World Cup since its inception in 2005, however, due to scheduling issues for the British team it will not be included in the 2012 event. John Atkinson, National Performance Director of British Disability Swimming, said: "The BT Paralympic World Cup has always been an exciting event that was part of our calendar. However, with the build-up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games our calendar has been structured differently. We worked with the event organisers to find an alternative date but unfortunately the timing of the BT Paralympic World Cup doesn't fit with the preparations that we are making for the Games so we are no longer participating in this competition.
“But we wish everyone involved luck and hope that Great Britain can continue the success it has seen in the past few years."
The team concept, introduced in 2010, is returning for a third year and will see athletes from Great Britain take on teams from the Americas, Europe and the Rest of the World across the sports. The current BT Paralympic World Cup defending champions are Great Britain.
The Manchester Regional Arena will host all the sporting action at the 2012 event, with sport schedules and ticket details to be announced in February.