At BT we are proud of our long association with, and support for, the Paralympic movement. We were the British Paralympic Association’s first commercial partner, and for almost 20 years have provided the BPA with resources, office facilities and communications networks and infrastructures to help them to achieve sporting excellence, and to inspire and excite audiences in the UK and beyond.
We are delighted to support the team of elite paralympic athletes representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the Paralympic Games in London, backing that marks another chapter in our proud support of Paralympic sport, and which will continue all the way to the Games in Rio in 2016.
We also directly support a number of Paralympic athletes through our BT Ambassadors scheme, including wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft who is the first athlete to break a world record in the Olympic Stadium, the most decorated equestrian rider in Paralympic history, Lee Pearson, triple gold-medal winner Liz Johnson, javelin and discuss hurler Nathan Stevens and up-and-coming 100m athlete Jonnie Peacock.
2012 was our fourth year as the title sponsor of the BT Paralympic World Cup, the only annual multi-disciplinary elite disability sporting event. This year’s event took place in Manchester in May and many BT employees took the chance to be volunteers. Coming just 100 days ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, it was seen as a crucial build-up event for the top international athletes taking part, and crucial in highlighting our own support for Paralympic sport in a broader context.
Just as the Olympic and Paralympic Games are about more than sport, BT is about more than technology. We are committed to using the Games, amongst other things, to inspire social change. In particular, building on our long-standing involvement in Paralympic sport, we have a vision of our involvement in London 2012 helping to drive a fundamental shift in how disability and paralympic sport is perceived.
As part of the build-up to London 2012 we have worked closely with Channel 4 as co-sponsors of the C4 London 2012 Paralympic Games site and coverage, as well as producing a series of short films – ‘BT and C4 presents…’ – featuring top Paralympic athletes talking about being inspired by the prospect of competing at the 2012 Paralympics in the capital. You can view some of our short films at at BT’s dedicated YouTube channel in support of Paralympic sport.