Paralympic Handover celebrations in Plymouth

Devon is celebrating the handing over of the Paralympic flag from the Mayor of Beijing to the Mayor of London on Wednesday 17th September, officially marking the beginning of the build-up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, by holding an indoor rowing event.

The event is for both disabled and non-disabled young people (Year 6 and over) who aim to collectively cover a distance of 147,000 metres in recognition of the 147 nations taking part in the Beijing Paralympics 2008.

It is taking place at the Plymouth YMCA, Kitto Centre, Plymouth, 10.00am – 12.30 pm and up to 100 young people from around the County will be showing off their rowing talents to Sporting Champion Nick Thorn, National Ironman Champion, Rosemary Napp, the Amateur Rowing Association’s National Manager and Colin Chaytor, Chief Executive of the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS).

The row is being organised by Active Devon, The Amateur Rowing Association and Plymstock School Sport Partnership who are working in partnership with EFDS, The Regional Development Agency, Sport England, Youth Sport Trust and The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy to celebrate the handover. 
 
The ARA is strongly committed to developing opportunities in rowing for disabled people and ensuring that adaptive rowing has a high profile as a disability sport.  At the event Rosemary Napp will sign a partnership agreement with Colin Chaytor.

Colin said:  "Our target is to drive up participation in disability sport in the run up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  But we can’t do it on our own.  Success in sport comes through teamwork and together we can make a difference so that disability sport enjoys a higher profile and a more focused effort before, and long after the 2012 Games are over."

Rosemary said “Rowing is very proud of the wonderful achievement of our athletes in Beijing, winning two golds and a bronze medal in their first appearance at the Paralympic games.  We now have a great opportunity to demonstrate that rowing really is a sport for all.”

Neil Roberts, Chief Executive of Active Devon said “Increasing participation in sport by 1% every year is a big challenge, but with such strong partnerships and so many key organisations working so positively together I’m certain that Devon will not only achieve, but exceed this.  This event provides another opportunity for our young people to find out how they can get involved with either an Olympic or Paralympic Sport, and hopefully we will see even more medals coming to Devon in 2012”.

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