BPA launch Paralympic Inspiration Programme
12 months ago
The British Paralympic Association today announced a programme designed to help aspiring Paralympians understand the unique environment of a Paralympic Games, so that they can prepare themselves for the experience that they may face in Sochi, Rio and beyond.
80 athletes, coaches and sports staff will take part in a programme encompassing the preparation camps, build up and the London 2012 Paralympic Games themselves.
Penny Briscoe, Director of Performance at the BPA, explained the rationale behind the programme:
“The Games are absolutely unique: the difference between a World Championships and a Paralympic Games is even more marked in a disabled context than it is in a non-disabled context.
"This programme is absolutely essential to enable us to keep ahead of the chasing pack."Penny Briscoe
The Games are the only time when athletes from all 20 sports come together and pull on one unique British tracksuit. They are familiar with the World Championship environment where they may feel very comfortable because it is all about their sport and with the athletes that they know. In contrast, at a Paralympic Games there are many more sports on their own team and it is simply a much more extreme environment with more athletes from more nations, living in a huge village, with a vast food hall and everything on a scale that is hard for athletes to comprehend if they haven’t seen it for themselves.
“That is what this programme is all about: ensuring that athletes understand what it takes to be a Paralympian and are able to thrive in the environment where they will all want to produce a personal best performance. It is critical that the Games environment does not come as a surprise or a distraction to British athletes when we get to Sochi or to Rio.”
Athletes from three winter sports and 20 summer sports, including Para-triathlon and Para-canoeing both of whom will be competing in Rio for the first time, are taking part in the Programme.
The first meeting was held today at the BT Paralympic World Cup, one of several workshops before the Games which will take place at the Paralympic Preparation Camp, held at the University of Bath.
As part of the scheduled activities at Games-time, participants will be given tours of the venues including back-of-house areas, a tour of the Paralympic Village, a visit to ParalympicsGB house, which will be the headquarters of the British Paralympic team, and will hear from retired Paralympians about their experiences.
Briscoe commented further “We are really proud of the programmes we have run in the last cycle, such as our Paralympic Potential Days and our Talent Transition Programme, which are designed to identify and fasttrack athletes respectively. The Paralympic Inspiration programme is the latest offering we can make to our sports, to provide some of their most promising athletes and staff with an opportunity ahead of Sochi and Rio to see what a Paralympic Games is like.
“We would like the programme to not only inspire and motivate athletes and staff in their future careers, but also to have a direct impact in maximising the performance potential of all in the build up to, and at Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016.”Penny Briscoe