Paralympic movement has golden opportunity to build on 2012 success
about a year ago
The Paralympic movement has a golden opportunity to build on the ‘incredible momentum’ of the London 2012 Games, said Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association.
Hollingsworth said it’s important that the Paralympic movement seizes on the successes of the Games, both in terms of identifying new talent, sustaining increased levels of media coverage and further developing relationships with commercial partners.
“We’ve got an incredible momentum coming out of London,” said Hollingsworth.
“It’s an incredible journey, it’s a fast-moving journey. The challenge now is to learn from all the positives that have come out of London and build on the momentum in this country.”
Hollingsworth said the planned festival of Paralympic sport, which was announced on the eve of the Games, will provide opportunities for disabled people to take part in a multi-sport celebration and help identify future generations of British Paralympic athletes.
It is likely to take place at the beginning of December, initially in England but also at other venues around the home countries.
Jane Jones, Director of Communications at the BPA, said she was delighted with the Channel 4 coverage of the Games and also with the quantity and nature of print media coverage.
“We knew we were going to get fantastic coverage from Channel 4,” she said.
“I’ve been so amazed by the amount of front covers we have had and the amount of coverage we’ve had, reporting on the sport and telling the inspirational stories of the athletes. I think we’ve made a breakthrough.
“If this Games has shown us anything, it’s shown that there’s a public appetite for Paralympic sport and that we can get commercial support for it.”
The BPA is keen to tie-up a deal with a broadcaster soon to further develop broadcasting opportunities in the build up to Rio 2016.
Hollingsworth said the BPA is keen to further develop opportunities with commercial partners as they look forward towards Rio.
“The London 2012 sponsors have had the opportunity to engage with both the Olympics and Paralympics. We’ve built a set of relationships across the commercial landscape through the marketing agreement and the relationships we’ve had with LOCOG sponsors, which we’re very ambitious to continue,” he said.
“Those discussions are active and ongoing. They’re hugely important to us going forward, they’re the bedrock of our future.
“We very much hope we’ll be in a position in the coming days, weeks and months to re-engage the corporate partners and build the family of brands we want to have join the journey over the next four years, recognising it’s about the movement in which they’re investing and not just the Games.”
Jones added: “We’re in a very good place commercially going forward. The onus is on us to make the most of it.”