??????????????????????????Channel 4 is set to broadcast a host of major para-sport events this summer.

The news follows the broadcaster’s unparalleled coverage of Sochi 2014, the biggest ever UK TV commitment to Winter Paralympic Games, and two years on from its ground-breaking, BAFTA winning coverage of the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Programming will include coverage of July’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in London and August’s IPC European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven, the IPC European Athletics Championships in Swansea and London’s National Paralympic Day.

Last year it was announced that Channel 4 has secured the UK television rights for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Sport said: “We’re thrilled to build on the success and scale of Channel 4’s ground breaking coverage of Sochi 2014 and London 2012 Paralympics by bringing viewers all the action from this summer’s major para-sport events.

“Our coverage has a proven positive impact on changing perceptions towards disability and disability sport whilst providing para-sport, its athletes and our new disabled talent with unprecedented new platforms. We look forward to welcoming them back to Channel 4 in the coming months and in the run up to the excitement of Rio.”

In the lead up to the 2012 Games, Channel 4 identified and trained new presenters and reporters with disabilities who have since become familiar faces with Channel 4 viewers, featuring in a range of programming. Some of the team return this summer to front more para-sport action.

Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games is taking place at London’s iconic royal Horse Guards Parade and The Mall on Sunday 20th July. Coverage of the event will be presented on Channel 4 by Jonathan Edwards and Ade Adepitan.

The two and a half hour programme will bring viewers all the action from the track, field, and road races featuring some of the world’s best athletes including Jonnie Peacock, Hannah Cockcroft, David Weir, Greg Rutherford and double Olympic Gold winner Mo Farah – viewers’ last chance to see Mo take to the track before defending his world champion titles at Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games.

Daráine Mulvihill will be reporting trackside whilst Iwan Thomas will be sampling the atmosphere of the crowd. John Rawling and Katharine Merry will provide commentary.

An evening schedule of events will be streamed live on Channel 4.com.

A FilmNova Sport Production, coverage will be directed by Matthew Coliandris and executive produced by Phil Sibson and Paul Foster.

This year’s IPC European Swimming Championships are being held in Eindhoven in the Netherlands from Monday 4th to Sunday 10th August. Highlights, produced by Sunset+Vine, will be broadcast throughout the week on Channel 4, More4 and online at Channel4.com.

Rachael Latham will be presenting from the poolside whilst former Paralympic champion Giles Long will provide expert comment and commentary.

Four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds will lead a strong British team including Josef Craig and Jessica-Jane Applegate, who will be aiming to add European golds to their World and Paralympic titles, as well as World champion and one of several teenagers on team GB,  Amy Marren.

The fourth IPC European Athletics Championships are taking place in Swansea, Wales from Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd August. Live coverage, produced by Sunset+Vine, will be broadcast daily on More4.

Jonathan Edwards and Ade Adepitan will present the coverage, with John Rawling, Katharine Merry and Danny Crates leading the commentary team.

An impressive selection of Britain’s leading athletes will take part, among them Jonnie Peacock, Hannah Cockroft, Richard Whitehead and David Weir, all of them heroes of The London Paralympic Games who are now half way through their preparations for Rio 2016.

From the continent, top stars include Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop (Ireland), Mare-Amelie Le Fur (France), Marlou van Rhijn (Netherlands) and Marcel Huq (Switzerland) who’ll be renewing his thrilling rivalry with David Weir.

Channel 4 will also be broadcasting highlights from National Paralympic Day which returns for its second year to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 30th August and features the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival. Coverage will be presented by Rachel Latham and produced by boomerang.

The day will see celebrations take place across the country, including a free family festival in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, showcasing the very best in disability sports and arts.  Sporting superstars of London 2012 will return to excite spectators of Boccia, Goalball, Swimming and Wheelchair Basketball.

The Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival, the annual showcase of deaf and disabled artists, will include an exciting line-up of street theatre, dance, live music, film, installations and children’s activities.

Sir Philip Craven, IPC President said:  “We are delighted that Channel 4 continue to lead the way with their award winning coverage of para-sport.

“This summer is an extremely busy one with European Championships in swimming and athletics, as well as the Anniversary Games and National Paralympic Day. It’s fantastic news that Channel 4 will be showing coverage from all these events helping us to build on the success of London 2012 and Sochi 2014 and raise the profile of para-sport and its tremendous athletes. Swansea 2014 will be the first major para-sport event to held in Great Britain since London 2012 and viewers are in for a real treat with some of the world’s best athletes taking to the track and the field.”

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO, British Paralympic Association, said: “It is fantastic to see National Paralympic Day featured in such an exciting summer line-up on Channel 4. Coverage from the event will mean more people can tune in to catch all the action and enjoy the excitement of National Paralympic Day. Our ambition for the day is for as many people as possible to relive the excitement and wonder of London 2012, and to keep the public’s support for ParalympicsGB growing as we move towards Rio 2016.”

Niels de Vos, Chief Executive, UK Athletics said: “We are delighted to be working with Channel 4 on the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games coverage. From their ground breaking broadcast of the Paralympic Games in 2012, through to their support of our Para athletics events of last summer, they have continued to lead the way in innovative sport presentation. This year’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games will be broadcast from Horse Guard’s Parade and The Mall and we are looking forward to working with Channel 4 to bring this unique and memorable event to a new audience.”

www.paralympics.org.uk