Surrey Sports Park welcome Croatia as one year countdown to Paralympics begins
29 August 2011
Surrey Sports Park are set to host the Croatian Paralympic team next week as the one-year countdown begins to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Today marks exactly a year until the Paralympic Games begin in London, and excitement is building around the event which will run from 29 August-9 September 2012.
Swimmers from the Croatian Paralympic squad are set to continue their pre-games preparation in the Sports Park’s 50m training pool, and the athletes join an ever growing list of elite paralympic athletes to train at the University of Surrey owned facility, which includes Great Britain’s Ellie Simmonds, who visited the centre earlier this year.
She said, “I think everyone in Guildford and Surrey is really luck to have such a great facility like Surrey Sports Park on their doorstep. It’s a world class sports centre, a great training environment and hopefully it will encourage more people to train here and to just enjoy the benefits of sport.
There is no doubt facilities such as this will do nothing but help our next generation of elite swimmers. It’s also only a few miles away from London, so hopefully I’ll be able to train here more in the run up to the Games.”
“The Paralympics is the biggest event in your career and we are just really lucky to be having a home games in London next year. It’s just going to be amazing, and hopefully the atmosphere and support will drive us on even longer. We’ll all be going out to do our country proud and to do it for the supporters.
The full competition schedule for the London 2012 Paralympic Games has now been released, with ticket applications set to open Games on 9 September 2011.
Simmonds will begin the defence of her S6 400M freestyle title on 1 September 2012, with the S6 100m freestyle event, which in China the then 13-year-old Simmonds also took gold in, will take place on 7 September.
The competition, which will feature 4,200 athletes from 150 countries, will be the biggest ever Paralympic Games. Hopes are high for British success after the team finished second behind hosts China in Beijing in 2008 - the fourth summer Games in a row that GB were runners-up in the medal table.
ParalympicsGB Chief Executive Tim Hollingsworth hopes to repeat those achievements and go further in London 2012: "For us, a successful home Games is not just about maintaining our second place on the medal table in the face of increasing competition," said Hollingsworth, "it's about raising the profile of Paralympic sport and British Paralympians.
"The Paralympics here in the UK can step out of the shadow of the Olympic Games. Our time is now."
Just ahead of tickets going on sale, you can celebrate the countdown to the Paralympic Games with the International Paralympic Day in Trafalgar Square, on Thursday 8 September.
The likes of 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius and a whole host of GB and international athletes will be there to showcase the 20 Paralympic sports featured at the Games.
Paralympic Games tickets will be on sale from 9-26 September and will be available through the official London 2012 website.