Interested in trying a new sport? We would like to meet you!
Whether you are already taking part, or just looking to have a go at something new, we have lots of initiatives to help you to get the best out of Paralympic and disability sport.
Have you been inspired by London 2012? It’s a great time to try a new sport, get active and have fun. Whether you’re looking to progress in sport or just starting out, ParalympicsGB Sports Fest and our Parasport programme could be the answer.
Feeling inspired and want to have a go?
The BPA isn’t just about supporting athletes at an elite level. We aim to inspire disabled people from grassroots sport right through to the top performance level.
Come along to ParalympicsGB Sports Fest, a new event for disabled people giving you the oppportunity to meet some of ParalympicsGB's medal winners from London 2012, try a load of different Paralympic sports and find out more about how to get involved. The first Sports Fest was held in Surrey in December 2012 and was attended by over 1000 people. We'll also be coming to other parts of the UK in 2013, so click here to find out more and register for further information.
We also run Parasport – a joint initiative between the BPA and our fantastic sponsor Deloitte, providing a one stop website for anyone interested in taking up a new sport and finding their local club. Take a look here for more information.
Aspiring to be like your heroes?
If you want to find out how to become the next Sophie Christiansen or David Weir come along to ParalympicsGB Sports Fest where you'll have the opportunity to meet with coaches from a whole range of Paralympic sports and quiz them on what it takes to make it to the top. This is exactly what Jonnie Peacock, Craig McCann and Jon-Allan Butterworth did, and look at them now...
- Jonnie Peacock
Jonnie lost his lower leg to meningitis when he was five years old. After watching the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games on TV Jonnie was inspired to give sport a try. He came along to a BPA Talent Day in Mile End that autumn, and was identified as having potential as a sprinter by the UK Athletics coaches. Jonnie was selected to ParalympicsGB in 2012 to compete in the T44 100m, running against his sporting hero, Oscar Pistorious. In what has since been named 'Thriller Thursday', Jonnie stole the show and the hearts of the nation as he stormed to victory and claimed the gold medal.
"I am a walking example of how sport can change your life for the better. Sport has totally shaped the person I am today."
- Craig McCann
Craig was identified through the 2010 Paralympic Potential programme that the BPA ran in conjunction with UK Sport. A keen rower, he had his heart set on impressing the Head Coach for the British Rowing team. After the day, he sent the following email to BPA Performance Director Penny Briscoe:
"When you were doing the rounds at the beginning you asked what I was looking forward to and I said something along the lines of performing well for Tom Dyson and the Rowing guys...you told me that as it was a multi-sport event there are lots of other sports to try and so I told myself I was going to give it my all for everything, and now I’m here Fencing... and wouldn't have it any other way."
Craig competed for ParalympicsGB at London 2012 and now has his sights set on Rio 2016.
- Jon-Allan Butterworth
Jon-Allan attended a Paralympic Potential Day in 2007 in Loughborough.
An ex-RAF technician who attended the day through the Battle Back programme, Jon-Allan excelled on the bike and his scores were good enough to catch the attention of the British Cycling coaches, who immediately identified him as a potential athlete. After further testing he was invited to join the British Para-Cycling squad.
In 2012 Jon-Allan was selected to ParalympicsGB for London, and he won three silver medals in front of the home crowds.
These events are all about having a go. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t sure where your skills lie, we just want to give you the chance to try something new. Who knows, you could end up being part of ParalympicsGB at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi or representing your country in Rio 2016.