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Plan for annual disability sports event on Olympic Park

Olympic Park. Photo: LOCOG

The London Legacy Development Corporation has promised £2m towards a Paralympic legacy on the Olympic Park that will establish an annual festival of disability sport along with new sporting, leisure and employment opportunities.

After the Games, the Legacy Corporation will turn the Olympic Park into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - a new part of London that will champion inclusive design and opportunities for disabled people, families and older people.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to benefit from the £2m Paralympic Legacy Programme which will build on the success of the Paralympic Games.

The Programme will help to create new homes, public spaces and sporting venues that are accessible, along with introducing a range of sports for disabled people including wheelchair rugby, boccia, wheelchair basketball and Goalball in the Copper Box. It will also help disabled people to get jobs on the Park.

A new annual festival of disability sport will also be established, along with the creation of an inclusive map of the Park to guide people through accessible attractions and facilities.

Naomi Riches (with glasses) celebrates on the podium. Credit: PA

This has been the most successful Paralympics in the history of the Games.

Thousands of people will be inspired to get involved in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and we want to make sure there are opportunities for everyone.

Just as we have set the blueprint for legacy, we are also setting the standard for providing accessible venues and parklands, along with employment and training opportunities for disabled people.

– Daniel Moylan, Chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation

The Paralympics have captured our hearts and minds and the success of ParalympicsGB provides us with new heroes to emulate. With the Olympic Park set to become London's newest neighbourhood, today's announcement shows how the new facilities, training and job opportunities, and sports events will be accessible and open to everyone long after the Games have left town.

– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

The International Paralympic Committee congratulates the London Legacy Development Corporation for their commitment to securing the Paralympic legacy of the Games. By working with the operator of the venues on the Park now, they are ensuring that paralympic sports will continue to be at the heart of the sporting legacy. Commitments like these give me confidence that London will continue to lead the way on having an inclusive and accessible legacy from the Games.

– Xavier Gonzalez, Chief Executive of the International Paralympic Committee
Natasha Baker clinches dressage gold. Credit: PA

The Legacy Corporation is working now to create a Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that will be open to all to enjoy and in doing so, London is unique among host cities in their foresight in planning for both the Olympic and Paralympic legacy of the Games.

The Legacy Corporations investment will deliver a host of accessible features in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park including:

Park-wide:

  • An annual festival of disability sport on the Park linked to a programme of sports training across sporting clubs in the surrounding boroughs
  • An accessible map of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and venues outlining all accessible features including step free access, blue badge parking, playgrounds, baby changing facilities and faith rooms
  • A Paralympic Legacy Ambassadors programme that recruits Paralympians and other disabled people to be community champions and Park mentors
  • An All Ability Cycling Club that works with Tower Hamlets based Bikeworks to provide specially adapted bikes for young people with physical and learning difficulties

Sport

  • Paralympic sports across the Park including wheelchair rugby, boccia, wheelchair basketball and Goalball in the Copper Box
  • A pool lift at the Aquatics Centre to assist disabled and older people people to get in and out of the pool
  • An inclusive gym for disabled athletes to be added to the Copper Box
  • Employment
  • 5% job targets for disabled people by the Legacy Corporations contractors

Design

  • Award winning inclusive design standards for five planned neighbourhoods including 10% wheelchair accessible homes
  • Making tow-paths accessible on Lea Navigation Canal
  • A Built Environment Access Panel to ensure high quality inclusive design - made up of older and disabled people, academics and experts
Great Britain's Hannah Russell on the podium after winning the bronze medal in the Women's 100m Butterfly. Credit: PA

The Olympic Park has already been hailed by Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson as the most accessible Olympic Park in history.

Inclusive Design is a key focus for the Legacy Corporation which will maintain gentle gradients, wider paths and aisles, tactile pavements and surfaces, and accessible venue entrances as it creates a new destination for Londoners to enjoy.

Simple design criteria - such as a 1 in 60 gradient to ease access to venues and facilities - will be the template across the Park as the LLDC redevelops the existing facilities for everyday use.

The £292m creation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the Games will lay the foundations for further development across East London over the next 20 years.

The transformation, called Clear, Connect, Complete has three main objectives: To clear Games-time structures including temporary venues, bridges, walkways and roads; to connect the Park to the surrounding area with new roads, cycle and foot paths; and to complete permanent venues, bridges and parklands ready for residents and visitors everyday use.

To enable people to get onto the Park as quickly as possible, the Legacy Corporation has carefully planned its works to re-open the Park in phases, as each piece of work reaches completion.

The Park will begin to reopen from 27 July, 2013, in the North Park before the South Park opens in spring 2014.

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