1. ITV Report

United Nations: Bedford bids farewell to Paralympians

Dedeline in her new racing wheelchair Photo: ITV Anglia

Bedford bid farewell to the Paralympic squads who have been training in the town for the past month.

The town played host to 13 nations, making it the biggest Paralympic training camp in the country.

Many of the teams are from Africa, representing Angola, Ivory Coast, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Uganda, Senegal, Lesotho, Morocco, Tunisia and the island of Cape Verde. The other teams are Pakistan, Jamaica and Canada.

Athletes have been using Bedford's International Athletics Stadium, including Dedeline Mibamba Kimbata from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She will be competing in the 1500m.

She had not even used a racing wheelchair before arriving in Bedford. She was given one by a team of volunteers from the town. She said:

Everyone here is engraved in my heart. I'm never going to forget them

– Dedeline Mibamba Kimbata
Free haircuts at Bedford barber shop Credit: ITV Anglia

Howard Darbon, Co-ordinator of Bedford's Paralympic Training Camp said: "Bedford has embraced the athletes, some of the stories about them going in to town and how kind people are, how people have helped them, provided things for them and so on. That's been brilliant."

The teams have been based at the University of Bedfordshire and one local barber shop has been providing them with free haircuts. Stylist Tammy Curmp told us: "Every customer we've had in has commented on the Paralympians passing by and stuff; it's been a treat, it's been great."

Physios and massage therapists have also travelled from across the region to volunteer their services.

This morning, the teams set off for London for the Paralympic Games which start next week. They were waved off by a small crowd as their coaches departed the University of Bedfordshire.

Massage therapists keeping athletes in tip top condition Credit: ITV Anglia
Crowds wave goodbye to the teams Credit: ITV Anglia

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