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Sports Think Tank - PARALYMPIANS AIM TO GO ONE BETTER THAN OLYMPIC COMRADEs

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PARALYMPIANS AIM TO GO ONE BETTER THAN OLYMPIC COMRADEs

Posted: Fri, 17 Aug 2012 09:05

as UK Sport confirms ambition of second and more medals from more sports

• UK Sport confirm goal of finishing second in the Paralympic medal table at London 2012, and a target of at least 103 medals from at least 12 sports

• Based on data from all 18 funded Paralympic sports, a collective performance target range of 95 to 145 medals is set (with 16 of those sports targeting medals)

UK Sport, the nation's high performance sports agency, has today confirmed the performance expectations for Britain's Paralympic sports at the London 2012 Paralympic Games this summer.

Britain's Paralympians have a tough act to follow given the sensational achievements of the Olympic team, who finished in third place with 65 medals overall. But the data released today has allowed UK Sport to confirm that the goal will be to go one better and retain the second place in the medal table that has been achieved for the past three Paralympic Games by the British team. The overall target is to win at least 103 medals from at least 12 different sports.

Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, Chair of UK Sport, said: "British Paralympic sport is better-resourced, and in a stronger position than ever before. We are able today to confirm that our goal of holding second place in the Paralympic medal table at our home Games remains on track, in line with our intentions set out back in 2006 when extra funding for Olympic and Paralympic sport was secured."

Britain's Paralympic campaign towards London 2012 (2009 – 2013) has been backed by over £49 million of National Lottery, Government Exchequer and Team 2012 funds from UK Sport, underpinned by support programmes, new to this funding cycle, in the areas of research and innovation, talent ID and coach development.

Baroness Campbell continued: "The fantastic news we received last week from the Prime Minister that funding for elite sport is to be maintained into the Rio cycle is a wonderful endorsement for the achievements of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes to date, and it is great to be able to say with confidence, ahead of the Paralympic Games, that the era post-2012 will truly mark a new beginning for Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK.

"I'd like to wish our Paralympians, their coaches and support staff every success in London, and I hope their gain the recognition they deserve for their commitment and dedication to British sport."

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, said: "After a fantastic Olympics all eyes will be on our Paralympic athletes. Every member of ParalympicsGB will be going all-out to deliver their best ever result, and I wish the team the very best of luck."

Dianne Thompson CBE, Camelot Group CEO, said: "After the stunning achievements of our National Lottery-funded Olympians, we're really looking forward to the prospect of our Paralympians also excelling at a home Games. National Lottery players have funded nine out of 10 of the athletes who will have competed for Team GB and ParalympicsGB at London 2012, providing them with truly life-changing support – so they should feel justifiably proud of their unique role in the nation's outstanding sporting success. Since The National Lottery started funding elite Paralympic sport in 1997, our athletes have consistently delivered on the world stage and we're sure it will be no different during what promises to be an incredible 11 days of sport."

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: "ParalympicsGB is going into these Home Games better prepared through support from the National Lottery than ever before, and we are all ready to give everything to achieve our target of second in the medal table. Equally important is the fantastic news that our athletes will be competing in full venues. Winning medals in front of an excited home crowd will give us a great platform to help shift perceptions of Paralympic sport and ensure that our athletes get the recognition they deserve."

In return for more than £300 million invested in Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes over the past four years alone, each sport agreed a performance target range with UK Sport. The performance target range for each sport has been monitored over the past four years and finally confirmed with UK Sport based on detailed analysis of medal prospects. The low end of this range represents a performance below which the sport would judge itself to have underperformed, and the high end of the range represents what is judged to be possible.

Liz Nicholl OBE, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: "Retaining second place on the medal table for the past three Paralympic Games has been a notable achievement for British athletes, especially given the ever increasingly competitive nature of Paralympic sport worldwide. With more countries investing time and resource into Paralympic sport and therefore contributing to the medal table, maintaining this standard of achievement in London should not be underestimated. Our target is to win at least 103 medals from at least 12 sports.

"The collective targets of all the Paralympic sports announced today show us that our Paralympians are in a great position to deliver more magical and inspirational performances to keep the overwhelming sense of national pride in Great Britain at an all-time high.

"Our Paralympians are among the best prepared and supported in the world; with cutting edge technology, science and medical support, excellent coaching, and the support of our enthusiastic home crowds, they are sure to be a force to be reckoned with on their home turf."

Gareth Sheppard, Paralympic Performance Manager at British Cycling, said: "Funding from UK Sport and the National Lottery is vital to the past, current and future success of Paralympic cycling in this country. Without it we wouldn't be able to have full-time athletes and support staff fully focused on being the best we can be in London. These performance targets are important, to provide a return on this investment in elite sport. While we remain focused on the process rather than the outcome, they remain a key benchmark on which all sports will be judged."

UK Sport's confidence in Great Britain's Paralympic prospects is strengthened by data revealed at the latest Mission 2012 briefing in July this year, which showed more Paralympic sports than ever before, 13 out of the 18 funded sports, rated green on the traffic light performance monitoring system.

Tags: UKsport, Paralympics

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