Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Paralympic champion13 April 2012
One of the best parts of being involved in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is that I get to see for myself how hosting the London Games is already changing people’s lives.In the week before the ‘1,000 days to go’ milestone I was in Jordan for the launch of International Inspiration in that country. I had been asked to go and see what the London 2012 Games are doing for children there.International Inspiration aims to changes the lives of millions of children throughout the world by giving them better PE lessons and sport and play opportunities. It’s absolutely core to LOCOG’s commitment to use the London Games in a transformative way.But it’s not just kids and young people around the world who are already getting involved and benefitting from London hosting the Games.Millions of people here in the UK are already inspired and involved, through the many sports participation programmes going on, by playing the National Lottery and by helping build the Olympic Park.Once finished, the Olympic Park will welcome people of all cultures, faiths and ages and be accessible to disabled people.Not only will the Olympic Park be open to all, it will also be easily accessed by all. LOCOG will run a Games Mobility service for disabled spectators at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.And for the first time ever, disabled volunteers will be able to become drivers at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games after LOCOG’s decision to ensure its automotive provider, BMW, would deliver adaptive vehicles as part of the contract.Work is also underway to create innovative seating bowls at venues so enabling disabled spectators to sit with family and friends rather than in designated wheelchair areas.Every one of these initiatives, and the many more being worked on, break new ground in terms of how we see and respond to disability in this country.In Jordan, kids in wheelchairs are now taking part in PE activities alongside their non-disabled friends and this simple change is making a hugely positive difference to their lives.The effect of the London 2012 Games on the UK’s communities won’t be any less powerful. The next 1,000 days will be a time to get behind the Paralympic Games, as a spectator, volunteer or supporter. By playing our part we can all enjoy the many benefits that are coming.
The London 2012 Games will break new ground in terms of how we see and respond to disability