I-drive Disability News Updates: A golden future beyond the Paralympic Games
The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) has vowed to invest £2m in a range of Paralympic legacy projects after the Games end on Sunday (9 September).
The LLDC is a public sector, not-for-profit organisation which will take control of the Olympic Park after the Games when it will be renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and reopened in phases.
The north end of the park will reopen one year after the Olympic opening ceremony on 27 July 2013 and the south part, which contains the stadium, will reopen in spring 2014.
Under the £2m programme, the LLDC said it would ensure all sports facilities and housing on the park will be fully accessible.
Seven of the eight permanent venues on the park already have tenants and agreements have been written into the contracts to provide provision for disability sports when the park reopens, including wheelchair basketball, boccia, wheelchair rugby and goalball.
The legacy programme will also include adding a gym for disabled athletes to the Copper Box (the venue that held goalball and handball), recruiting Paralympians and other disabled people to become community champions, and working with a local firm to provide specially adapted bikes for young people with physical and learning disabilities.
International Paralympic Committee Chief Executive, Xavier Gonzalez, said: “By working with the operator of the venues on the Park now, [the LLDC] is ensuring that Paralympic sports will continue to be at the heart of the sporting legacy.”
However, there are fears that other local authorities across the country will be less able to invest in ensuring that sports facilities are accessible to all due to constrained budgets.