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Supported Charity 2016

To Sponsor me please go to:  http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LucasKeepsRunning

How the donations support the team:

£200 would help us put home comforts into one athlete’s bedroom, creating a comfortable, relaxed home from home for the athletes
£250 will pay for one athlete to go through one day of a preparation camp for Rio 2016, giving them vital experience of a multi-sport environment and taking them one step closer to achieving their dream of representing ParalympicsGB
£1000 will pay for a full medical team for one day at the Games - that’s a doctor, a nurse, a physio and a psychologist - enabling the wide-ranging medical requirements of the team to be catered for and ensuring the athletes are in the best possible shape to compete
£1250 would pay for one athlete to attend our Paralympic Inspiration Programme, taking athletes hoping for 2020 selection to Rio 2016 to prepare them for the daunting, unique experience of competing at the Paralympic Games
£2500 would pay for an additional athlete support staff member to be accredited at the Games – access to the Paralympic Village is very restricted, and this would mean the athletes can be better supported by expert staff
£4000 provides a place for an athlete on a 6 month talent transition programme which will support getting them on to a sport pathway programme and may put them in the frame for ParalympicsGB selection
£25,000 would allow ParalympicsGB to run a Sports Science and Sports Medicine Conference, ensuring that British practitioners remain ahead of the rest of the world in terms of the medical support that can be offered to the athletes

For more information have a look at Paralympics GB website - http://www.paralympics.org.uk/

We are the British Paralympic Association, or the BPA. As the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) for Great Britain, it is our responsibility to select, prepare, enter, fund and manage the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the Paralympic Games. This team is known as ParalympicsGB. As a registered charity (no. 802385) with your support, the BPA is now working hard to continue the momentum created by London, striving to make a lasting improvement in disability sport and to take the best prepared team to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

ParalympicsGB will always take a team to the Games with basic kit and preparations, but it’s the money donated by you that makes a difference and enables us to take a bigger, better prepared team.

Lee Pearson, gold medallist in : Mixed Individual Championship Test - Grade Ib

Jonnie Peacock - 100M T53 Paralympic Gold Medallist

Double Paralympian Gold medallisat, Hannah Cockcroft - T34 100m and 200m

David Weir  at one of his four gold post boxes - Lucas watched him win three of his gold medals.

As the prime event this year takes us to the Post boxes from London 2012, it seemed appropriate to include Paralympics GB as one of the charities to support.  Of the 111 boxes on route, over 40 relate to the 34 Paralympics GB gold medals.  
Paralympics GB are a charity and whsilt they do get grant funding, it is fitting to support them as part of the cycle.  Hopefully we’ll have some of the medallists on route.  
Above: With Kelly Gallagher - GB’s first ever  Winter Paralympic Gold Medallist in Sochi 2014.

Below: Wheelchair basketball and Boccia at Sports Fest
Above left - Mel Stubbs World Championship 2013 and Beijing Paralympics 2008 Gold Medals in archery
Above right - Mel Stubbs - Paralympian in Archery
Below - With Dame Sarah Storey and one of her four London 2012 Paralympic Gold medals in cycling

On 19 May I attended the Paralympics GB Sports Fest at Sport City in Manchester.  The event is the fifth such event since London 2012, aimed at inspiring those with disabilities to try the sports and get inspired to get involved.  It gives those who work with the sports to talent spot - though that is not the aim of the day, and those there a chance to meet medallists.  Funding to Paralympics GB enables these events and to nurture our future and current talent.

During the event I had a chance to see firsthand the different sports, from Equestrian to Para Triathlon to Wheelchair Basketball to Table Tennis to Boccia.  I also had the opportunity to meet three of Paralympics GB's gold medal winning athletes: Dame Sarah Storey (4 cycling gold's at London 2012), Mel Stubbs (Archery gold in Beijing 2008) and Kelly Gallagher (First ever GB gold medallist in a Winter Paralympics Games in downhill skiing).  Mel Stubbs talked of how the hospital at Stoke Mandeville (where the Paralympics began in 1948), a spinal injuries specialist, has helped him and the support from Paralympics GB has enabled him to carry on as an athlete.  After London 2012 he had struggled due to his injuries causing him to be unable to pull the arrow back with his usual strength and thus miss out on a medal on home soil.  Mel also allowed me to hold his gold medal from Beijing!

Sarah Storey and Kelly Gallagher were both very enthusiastic and giving of their time.  I spoke to them whilst they were signing autographs and got a chance for a picture and to see their respective medals. The buzz they clearly get from their sport is evident and Sarah was talking of races in June in Newcastle upon Tyne which she will be competing in.  There is a clear element of determination in them both, and the funding of Paralympics GB enables them to excel and represent their nation at the top level.  Is it worth bearing in mind Sarah only just missed out on qualifying for Team GB's Olympic team.  

Paralympics GB also work to engage with not just the next generation of sporting excellence, but also anyone with a disability and interested in sport.  The minefield of categories for each sport does mean it's not a straight forward process to aim for the top level and not all disabilities necessarily have a qualifying system, but there are opportunities out there and with more funding and engagement the opportunities and categories can only increase, showing it's not about what you can't do but what you can.  I was inspired by the Paralympics in London as a Games Maker and had my eyes opened and my prejudices overcome.  A third of this year's donations will support the work that further enables us to excel in disability sport as a nation.

Below, Paralympics GB share a bit more about the funding and their work.