With 1,000 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games, the British Paralympic Association (BPA) has announced the first of a series of multi-sport preparation camps will be held at the University of Bath early next year.
The camp will be on 3-5 January 2014 and is the first of several camps providing attendees the opportunity to spend time with athletes and staff from other sports in a multi-sport environment.
It follows the preparation camps the BPA held at the University of Bath in the lead-up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, which achieved an overall satisfaction rate of 91 per cent among attendees.
The camps are designed for athletes aspiring to compete at a Paralympics and will give them an understanding of the unique Paralympic Games environment.
For the first time this programme will primarily focus on experiential learning and education rather than the main training focus of previous camps. This will involve a series of workshops run by BPA staff, consultants, external experts and partner organisations such as UK Anti Doping.
Potential Paralympians will also have the opportunity to hear from athletes who have already represented ParalympicsGB about their experiences, providing both inspiration and practical advice for developing athletes.
Director of Performance at the BPA, Penny Briscoe said: “The Paralympic Games environment is unique and very different to that an athlete experiences at their world championships.
“The aim of our multi-sport preparation programme is to make the unfamiliar familiar so that when an athlete becomes part of the ParalympicsGB team, they know what to expect and can just focus on delivering their personal best performance.
“The camps are therefore one of the most important programmes that we run for aspiring athletes and our National Governing Bodies, and we are very proud of their success in previous cycles. Following the great camps programme for London 2012 hosted at the University of Bath, I am very much looking forward to returning to Bath for the first of the series to prepare for Rio.
“There may be 1,000 days to go to Rio but we are already thinking about how our actions and experiences now can influence what happens on the field of play in 2016.”
Approximately 100 athletes and staff from 10 sports will attend the first camp in January. These are: athletics, boccia, cycling, Para-canoe, Para-triathlon, rowing, shooting, table tennis, sitting volleyball, wheelchair rugby.
BPA Chief Executive Tim Hollingsworth said: “The BPA’s first strategic objective is to take the best prepared team to each summer and winter Paralympic Games and the camps preparation programme is very much at the heart of our plans to deliver that team. We are just a couple of months away from Sochi 2014 but even while we maintain our focus on our winter team we also continue to support our summer sports in their preparations and the camp in January is a significant part of that.”
Stephen Baddeley, Director of Sport at the University of Bath, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the BPA’s first multi-sport preparation camps in the lead-up to Rio.
“The camps held at the University of Bath ahead of London 2012 were a big success and we’re proud of our partnership with the British Paralympic team.
“It will be a fantastic and very fitting start to the New Year for us to host the first camps ahead of the Rio Games and to help support some of the nation’s aspiring athletes on the road to Rio.”
The Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Paralympic Games will be held on 7 September 2016.