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- 04 October 2013 00:00
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British Paralympic Association (BPA) Chief Executive Tim Hollingsworth says that inspiring communities to participate in disability sport is one of the big priorities of the organisation moving forward.
Hollingsworth stressed that the most important job of the BPA is to send the best-prepared team possible to the Paralympic Games – with the Sochi 2014 Winter Games and Rio 2016 Summer Games far approaching.
But he said that the elite athletes that compete at the Paralympics play an important role in getting communities inspired about disability sport.
"Our principle role at the BPA is to send an elite team to the Paralympic Games and to ensure that no stoned is left unturned in their preparations,” Hollingsworth told Community Sport Network.
"However, the ParalympicsGB team that competes at the Games has the opportunity to inspire people at community level and that is something that we see as very important.
"We saw at London 2012 the direct link between top performances at the Paralympics and how that filtered down to disability sport at community level in terms of inspiring people to take up sport.”
Hollingsworth also pointed out that the Paralympics can prove even more inspirational than the Olympics given the way they can introduce people to disability sport for the first time.
"The inspiration of the Paralympics is perhaps even more powerful than the Olympics in terms of a shop-window to show people what disability sport is all about so providing that motivation to people at community level and encouraging them to participate is certainly part our of ongoing strategy at the BPA.”