Deloitte delivers vital boost for Paralympic hopefuls
about a year ago
Deloitte-supported athletes among first confirmed for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
With just 200 days to go until the start of the Paralympic Games, London 2012 sponsor Deloitte, has today announced funding for a further 86 disability athletes through the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS). TASS is a national programme managed by SportsAid, which helps top British sportsmen and women who are in higher or further education.
Since becoming the scheme’s disability sports partner in 2007, Deloitte has made over 500 TASS awards to more than 300 disabled athletes throughout the UK. Many have been hugely successful in their chosen sports, with Paralympic gold medal winners Eleanor Simmonds and Matt Skelhon among the scheme’s alumni.
“I am really proud to have been selected for ParalympicsGB and look forward to playing in front of a home crowd in London. I’ve worked really hard preparing for the Games and Deloitte TASS has been part of that journey.”Will Bayley
Many current and alumni TASS athletes are expected to compete at London 2012, including four members of the Paralympic table tennis team. David Wetherill, Jane Campbell, Kim Daybell and Will Bayley were some of the first athletes to receive Deloitte TASS funding and have all been confirmed for the London 2012 ParalympicsGB squad.
Will Bayley, the current World number one table tennis champion in Class 7, competed at the Beijing Paralympic Games, and will be aiming for a spot on the podium at this year’s Games. Bayley commented: “I am really proud to have been selected for ParalympicsGB and look forward to playing in front of a home crowd in London. I’ve worked really hard preparing for the Games and Deloitte TASS has been part of that journey.”
David Wetherill, Bayley’s team mate in the table tennis squad, said: “I am very excited to have been selected for the ParalympicsGB team at London 2012; competing at a Paralympic Games is the pinnacle of every athlete's career! With the fantastic support of Deloitte TASS funding, I have thankfully been able to train very hard in order to achieve this, and winning a medal in London no longer seems like a distant dream - it has become a very realistic possibility!”
Catherine Bayley, disability sport manager at Deloitte, said: “Everyone in the UK is excited and preparing for this year’s Games, and that excitement will remain until the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games on the 9th September. It is vital to invest in young talent and sustain that investment to ensure an impact is made. In the five years we have supported the TASS scheme, we are proud to have helped athletes achieve their dreams at Beijing, Vancouver and now in London.
“Investing in disability sport so early, in 2007, means that we will see the results later this year when we expect around a third of the ParalympicsGB team to have received Deloitte TASS support at some point in their career. To see athletes reaching their goal is an incredible return on that investment, and to do that at a home Games makes it all the more exciting.”
Tim Lawler, chief executive at SportsAid, said: “The longevity of Deloitte’s commitment to disability sport in Britain has been a real game changer. Not only for the athletes concerned but increasingly for the sector as a whole.
“This year we will see many former Deloitte TASS athletes in action at the Paralympic Games in London and they will be a huge inspiration both to the current crop and future generations, who we see as a living-legacy from London 2012.”