John Charles Centre for Sport and Spider-Y join forces to celebrate the UK’s first National Paralympic Day

The John Charles Centre for Sport and the Leeds based charity Spider-Y will be joining forces and opening to the public on Sunday 08 September as part of the celebrations for the UK’s inaugural National Paralympic Day on 07 September, marking the one year anniversary of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The day will see the Leeds to Rio Festival take place at the John Charles Centre for Sport, offering the public the chance to get involved and try out a variety of disability sports including adapted cycling, blind football, powerchair football, wheelchair tennis, visually impaired tennis, boccia, wheelchair basketball and many more.

Spider-Y, a Leeds based charity which helps and funds wheelchair sports clubs in the area will be hosting a wheelchair rugby league festival at the venue, with teams from across the country competing and showcasing their skills to the public.

The John Charles Centre for Sport and Spider-Y are just two clubs that are opening their doors to offer practice sessions to their community to showcase their sport and the talent of their athletes, and ‘come-and-try’ sessions so that people can experience the sport for themselves.

Andrew Gardner, Chairman of Spider-Y Club said:

“We’re delighted to get involved with National Paralympic Day and actually use it as a platform to showcase the great sports that we have at our club, and additionally the many different disability sports that are now on offer in Leeds and the surrounding area. At the moment, wheelchair rugby league is not a Paralympic sport but this is something we are hoping to change and we have teams from all over the country coming to the JCCS to take part in matches to show what a brilliant sport it is.  I’d really encourage the public to come along, not only to support the players participating in the matches but also to come and try all of the amazing sports that are on offer such as wheelchair basketball, boccia, blind football and many more. Leeds has shown it has a great wealth of sports talents and we’re keen that everyone gets the chance to be involved with the amazing sports that are available to all.”

The regional celebrations of National Paralympic Day coincide with a day of activity on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, with a Deaf and disabled arts and sport festival. The event will feature elite Paralympic competition, family-friendly come-and-try opportunities for a number of Paralympic sports, and the Liberty Arts Festival. The club activities will ensure that National Paralympic Day can be enjoyed and celebrated across the UK.

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the BPA, is appealing for more registered clubs to get involved to celebrate National Paralympic Day: “The fantastic sporting achievements that the world saw last summer at the London Paralympic Games will never be forgotten and the many athletes involved have inspired people from all over our country, young and old alike. National Paralympic Day is a way to not only keep these memories alive but to build on the momentum of last year, and we are delighted to see both elite and amateur Paralympic sport taking place all over the country to celebrate the anniversary.

“We hope to get sports clubs involved from all regions of the UK, giving them the opportunity to showcase the great disability sport that they offer.”

Sports clubs and organisations across the country can get involved with the national celebrations by registering their details at The British Paralympic Association (BPA) grass-roots club signposting tool, Deloitte Parasport http://www.parasport.org.uk/npd. Clubs will then receive a ‘Club Toolkit’ containing advice on how they can advertise and promote their event.

The National Paralympic Day featuring the Liberty festival at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London is organised by the Mayor of London, The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and the British Paralympic Association, supported by public funding through the National Lottery and Arts Council England.

To find out more about the event at John Charles Centre for Sport on 08 September at http://www.leeds.gov.uk/Events/Pages/leeds-2-rio-disability-sport-day.aspx or www.leeds.gov.uk/disabilitysport 

Photos and videos of the event will be available next week.

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