Seb Coe: BT Paralympic World Cup a "Fantastic Opportunity" for both athletes and spectators alike
about a year ago
London 2012 Organising Committee Chair Seb Coe has expressed his delight at the quality of field at the upcoming BT Paralympic World Cup and says the event at Manchester Regional Arena is a “fantastic opportunity” for sports fans to catch a glimpse of the stars of this summer’s London Paralympic Games.
Paralympic stars from around the globe will descend on Manchester on 22-26 May for what is being billed as the strongest ever line-up at the BT Paralympic World Cup, just 100 days before the biggest show on earth descends on UK shores.
Athletics, wheelchair basketball, football 7-a-side and boccia are the sports being showcased at the event, with some of the biggest names in the world – including track star and BT ambassador Oscar Pistorius – due to compete.
In addition to South African Pistorius, spectators will also see the Great Britain team – including wheelchair racing royalty David Weir and another BT ambassador, Hannah Cockroft – who will have the hopes of the nation on their shoulders come London a few months later.
And Lord Coe believes the BT Paralympic World Cup will showcase Paralympic sport in the best possible way, with competing athletes determined to lay down a marker ahead of the forthcoming Games.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist and chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee said: “The BT Paralympic World Cup has always been a fantastic event, but just seeing who’s involved this time around, it’s clear this is going to be one to remember."
“The whole nation is gearing up for one of the most memorable sporting summers in history and this is a fantastic taster for what is sure to be a special time for Paralympic sport in this country."Seb Coe
“For the competing athletes, the event is a fantastic opportunity to test themselves against truly world-class opposition, many of whom they’ll be competing against for podium places this summer. And for those watching, it’ll be a fantastic occasion and a chance to see to plenty of stars of the present and future.
“Many present may never have watched Paralympic sport live and I'm sure that all those there, and those who watch by other means, will be in awe with the skill, talent and determination on show.”
The IAAF vice-president continued by saying that he expects some outstanding performances with training programmes and cycles reaching their conclusion.
He added: “With the London Paralympic Games being less than 100 days away, every minute is of paramount importance to the athletes, so I expect there will be some fantastic performances in Manchester.”
Meanwhile, Great Britain’s boccia international match will now be against the Czech Republic following the withdrawal of the Brazilian pair.
Duncan Tunbridge, GB Boccia Operations Manager said: “As Paralympic Bronze medallists from 2008 the Czech Republic will provide a stern test for the BC4 pair and will provide them with invaluable competitive experience in front of a home crowd ahead of London 2012. Following the success of the other classifications at the Test Event, this is an opportunity for the BC4’s to demonstrate that they too are firmly on track for success in the summer.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup is the largest annual international multi-sport competition in elite disability sport. BT is entering its fourth year as title sponsor, upholding its strong commitment to disability sport in the UK that stretches back over twenty years.
Manchester has committed for the eighth consecutive year to hosting elite international athletes competing across Wheelchair Basketball, Athletics and Football 7-a-side. In addition, Boccia will once again be represented, with an international match being staged during the competition.
The 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup will once again be broadcast by Channel 4. For more information about Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage, visit: www.channel4.com/paralympics.
The BT Paralympic World Cup is sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and supported by ParalympicsGB, BT and Manchester City Council.
Tickets for the BT Paralympic World Cup are now on sale. For more information visit: www.btparalympicworldcup.com
The event schedule will see the Manchester Regional Arena host all events, starting with Athletics on 22 May, followed by Wheelchair Basketball and Football 7-a-side on 23-26 May. The Boccia match will be staged on 24 May.