Paralympic Champions David Weir and Ollie Hynd today called on the British public to back their athletes when world class competition in athletics and swimming returns to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as part of National Paralympic Day on Sunday July 26.
National Paralympic Day, funded by Spirit of 2012, is a day of fantastic sporting competition held at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with, as its centrepiece, an international para-swimming competition taking place in the London Aquatics Centre. The action takes place alongside the final day of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, which will incorporate the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final and see the world’s best para-athletes return to the former Olympic Stadium for the first time in two years.
Held with just over a year to go to the Rio 2016 Paralympics, fans can now snap up tickets to cheer on their Paralympic heroes as they compete in two of the most iconic venues of the London Games.
The sporting schedule for the day will see morning and late afternoon sessions of swimming with athletics in between – giving attendees on the day a packed programme of world-class sport.
The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games (24-26 July) will come to a spectacular close on the 26 July.
Six times Paralympic champion David Weir will return to the track where he won three of his four gold medals, at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Weir said, “The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games will be a huge event and I can’t wait to race again in the Olympic Stadium which holds such special memories for me. Competing in my home city of London is always brilliant. The crowds here are the best in the world and really make the atmosphere unique.
“With just over a year to go until Rio, it’s very important for me to get the best competition possible. The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games will provide a great platform for me to really test myself ahead of the world championships this year and more importantly will allow me to gauge how much work I need to do, to ensure I’m in the best shape to bring back more Paralympic gold medals in 2016.
“Racing on the track where I won gold in 2012 will be a great inspiration for me and I think all the athletes will rise to the occasion and produce some spectacular performances.
“The support for Paralympic sport in this country has been incredible over the last few years and I think people now realise how competitive and entertaining it is. I hope the crowds will once again come down to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday July 26, to support the athletes, at what I believe will be one of London’s best events of the summer.”
Crowd favourites Ellie Simmonds, Ollie Hynd and Jessica-Jane Applegate will be among the swimmers lining up on the starting blocks in the London Aquatics Centre, where ParalympicsGB won an incredible 39 medals at London 2012.
Ollie Hynd, London 2012 gold medallist and World, European and Commonwealth champion, urged sports fans to book their seats for a thrilling day of competition in the pool.
Hynd said: “National Paralympic Day is an unmissable event for anyone who enjoyed London 2012 and I’d encourage everyone to get their tickets so that they can enjoy the sporting action and feel part of it.
“The support of the home crowd in London was second to none, and it’s a fantastic boost for athletes to hear those cheers and to know that everyone is behind them.
“We’re at an important stage in our preparations for Rio, so you can be sure of an exciting day of racing as we’ll be looking to go out there and make it a day to celebrate.”
In addition to the ticketed events on offer at National Paralympic Day, there will be plenty of free activities for visitors on the day. This includes the chance to meet some of their Paralympic heroes, try out a range of disability sports and enjoy the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival, which will be presenting another exciting line-up of Deaf and disabled artists, musicians and performers. More details about Liberty will be announced shortly.
Last year’s event saw some 30,000 people come to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to join celebrations for National Paralympic Day featuring Liberty.
Work to transform the former Olympic Stadium is being paused to deliver a summer of world-class sport including the Great Newham London Run, Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games and five matches of the Rugby World Cup. The venue will reopen permanently in 2016 as the national competition centre for UK Athletics and the new home of West Ham United Football Club.
To buy tickets to the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games visit britishathletics.org.uk. Sainsbury’s is proud to be a long-term supporter of British Athletics and a champion of inclusive sport for all, from grassroots to elite level.