20th May 2012

Paralympic Tickets Boost


20 May 2012

With just 100 days to go until the London 2012 Paralympic Games, UK Athletics (UKA) has confirmed that it will buy tickets to ensure that British athletes’ families can watch them compete in every round in the Olympic Stadium.

Athletes already receive four tickets for their first session from Procter & Gamble (P&G) as part of their “nearest and dearest” scheme with ParalympicsGB.

Now with UKA’s decision to pay for two tickets for every subsequent athletics round, it means that British competitors can be assured that those closest to them will be able to cheer them on from the first round right through to the final without any financial burden.

“This is a really great gesture by UKA because it’s removing any concern we might have had about getting the best possible support when we’re out there competing,” says Nathan Stephens, the F57 javelin World Champion and World Record holder.

“I’ve always had a close family network and it was brilliant to have my mum and dad travel out to New Zealand to see me win my World Championships gold. Although London should be easier because it’s so close to home, some athletes have been worried that they might not be able to get hold of every ticket they need for their friends, families and extended families, and in some cases they just can’t afford them, which is a burden we can’t carry going into the biggest event of our lives.

“This means a lot to me – to all of us – and hopefully now we can relax and concentrate on what matters, safe in the knowledge that our biggest fans are right there for us.”

The UKA Board made the decision to fully finance the extra tickets and in doing so will play a key role in supporting the top eight medal table target of the British team.

“Our athletes and their coaches have spent many years preparing for this Paralympic Games and their attention to detail has been exceptional; by taking this forward we hope we’re able to remove any barriers to performance and ensure that preparation continues without any unnecessary distractions,” says UKA CEO Niels de Vos.

“In addition, we’ve always been clear about the value we place on the support of family and friends, many of whom have made great sacrifices over the years to get to this point, and this initiative essentially removes the concern of cost or availability of tickets for what will be a sold out Stadium for every session.”