Paralympics GB official 2012 team photo issued
24th September 2012
Please see attached the official Paralympics GB team photo, featuring all 600 athletes and staff, in partnership with The National Lottery to celebrate the life changing impact that Lottery funding has had on sport in the UK.
- National Lottery players have contributed £2.2 billion to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, funding venues, athletes, grassroots sport and cultural activities across the UK. This includes £66 million into the staging of the Paralympics.
- Almost nine out of ten (86 per cent) of Team GB and Paralympic GB athletes selected for London 2012 have benefitted from National Lottery funding at some point in their career.
- National Lottery players have invested more than £6 billion into sport since the Lottery started in 1994 – inspiring future generations by upgrading local sports clubs and facilities, and providing opportunities for thousands more people to enjoy sport.
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive, British Paralympics Association, said:
“The support that the National Lottery provides our sports and athletes is fantastic and means that many Paralympic athletes, just like their Olympic counterparts, can train full time. By focussing solely on their training and competition, our athletes can consistently perform at a world-class standard on the international stage, be it at European or World Championships or at a Paralympic Games. For London 2012, National Lottery funding is a crucial factor in our belief that we can achieve our ambition of second in the medal table, with more medals across more sports.”
Jackie O’Sullivan, Director, The National Lottery Good Causes, said:
“National Lottery players are the biggest supporters of our Paralympic athletes and should be proud of the contribution. National Lottery funding has helped our Paralympians get where they are today, allowing them to train full time and access world class coaching and facilities. Since National Lottery funding was introduced in 1997, it has transformed elite sport in this country and the success is set to continue. We have already seen its impact on Team GB in the Olympics and now we can look forward to our strongest ever performance at the Paralympics.”
ONES TO WATCH
Will Bayley, Table tennis
Lives: Groombridge, East Sussex
Trains: English Institute of Sport, Sheffield
DOB: 1 January 1986
Whilst recovering from cancer aged seven, Will discovered he could play a good game of table tennis. Thanks to his grandma, who bought him his first table, Will continued to progress in the sport. At the age of 12 he joined Byng Hall Table Tennis Club in Tunbridge Wells where he continued to improve before moving on to represent Kent men’s team of non-disabled players.
Will became Lottery-funded in 2007 which has allowed him to train at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield ever since.
In October 2011 Will returned from the 2011 European Championships in Split, Croatia where he won a gold medal in the men’s Singles class 7 and a silver medal in the men's Team event class 7, playing with Paul Karabardak. He finished 2011 by being voted the European Players' Player of the Year and was subsequently announced as the world no. 1 in January 2012.
Jordanne Whiley, Wheelchair Tennis
Lives: Halesowen, West Midlands
Trains: National Tennis Centre, Roehampton
DOB: 11 June 1992
Jordanne was encouraged to start playing wheelchair tennis by her father Keith, who was a bronze medalist at the 1984 New York Paralympic Games.
Aged 14, Jordanne became Britain’s youngest women's Singles National Champion.
The next year she became Lottery-funded and has gone on to win titles including the Nottingham Indoor and the Melbourne Open.
She made her Paralympic debut in 2008, where she reached the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles playing alongside Lucy Shuker.
Sam Ingram, Judo
Trains: EICA Edinburgh
DOB: 22 August 1985
Sam is one of two sets of brothers currently competing in visually impaired judo, with his brother Joe also training with the squad and competing in his first Paralympic Games in London.
Sam has been Lottery-funded since 2007 and burst onto the international scene that year at the European Championships in Belgrade, Serbia where he finished 5th. He went on to win a bronze in Beijing 2008.
In 2010, Sam competed at the IBSA World Championships in Antalya, Turkey where he won a silver medal.
In 2011 he also won his first European title of his career at the IBSA VI European Championships in Crawley, UK, in the -90kg category.
Alexandra Rickham, Sailing
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
Lives: Epsom, Surrey
Trains: Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
DOB: 11 September 1981
London 2012 will be Alexandra's second Paralympic Games, where she will be sailing with Niki Birrell in the SKUD 18.
Following a diving accident in 1995, Alexandra first sailed on a day out while rehabbing in Miami. However she didn’t start taking the sport seriously until studying at Imperial College, London, 10 years later. Alexandra became Lottery-funded and started sailing with Niki Birrell in November 2007. She says qualifying for Beijing 2008 is her greatest sporting achievement.
Nicki trains at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, which has received £3 million of Lottery funding.
Steve Brown, Wheelchair Rugby
Hometown: Chatham, Kent
Lives: Sittingbourne, Kent
Trains: Kent Crusaders
DOB: 2 June 1981
Steve is currently captain of the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby team and one of the most recognised members of the team.
Before his injury, Steve was very athletic and played football and cricket. Following his accident in 2005 Steve tried out archery and table tennis but decided wheelchair rugby was the sport for him.
Steve has been Lottery-funded since 2006, enabling him to focus solely on training. In the same year he took part in the 2006 Wheelchair Rugby National Championships, playing as part London’s winning team.
Steve narrowly missed selection for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, but following the return of ParalympicsGB he represented the 2012 Paralympic hopefuls and led the parade of athletes through London.
Sophie Christiansen MBA, Equestrian
Hometown: Ascot, Berkshire
Lives: Maidenhead, Berkshire
Trains: South Bucks RDA
DOB: 4 November 1987
A school trip to her local Riding for the Disabled Association centre in South Buckinghamshire first inspired Sophie to start riding at the age of six and she will make her third Games appearance at London 2012.
Sophie became Lottery-funded in 2004 and in that year made her first major international competition debut at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, winning an individual bronze medal. Following this she was voted BBC London Disabled Athlete of the Year.
Aside from her riding career, Sophie used to compete in half-marathons and won the Windsor half-marathon in a wheelchair race in 2002.
In 2008, she was awarded the Vivien Batchelor Trophy for the most outstanding rider under 25 by the British Equestrian Writers’ Association, as well as the Raymond Brooks-Ward Memorial Trophy - which is awarded to the most promising rider under 25 in eventing, dressage and showjumping.
Sophie was awarded an MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to disabled sport.
Notes to editors
For more information contact Natasha Brown on 0207 842 4236/07515108495 or email@example.com