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Major boost for disability sport in London

22 February 2012 0 comments

Tim Sharp

For a moment last night disabled youngsters were able to put day-to-day problems to one side and live the dream of future Olympic glory.

While the focus may be elsewhere in London during 2012, these young people were given just a glimpse of what might be as they met their Paralympic hero David Weir. And, for some, there is the very real chance that they may follow in his tracks to victory – at Rio in 2016.

Balfour Beatty announced details of a new scheme through which 16 young people will receive aid to propel their careers as budding Paralympic athletes. The “16 for 16” scheme complements the Balfour Beatty/Help a Capital Child grant awards, the winners of which were also announced last night, through which over £40,000 was distributed across 15 London Boroughs to fund schemes aimed at improving sports provision for young disabled people at grass roots level.

Five-times London Marathon winner and Double Paralympic Gold medallist David Weir, who was the guest of honour, handed over £5,000 cheques to 4 London Boroughs who had come up with the best plans to improve disability sport in their areas.

Last night’s event on the banks of the River Thames lifted Balfour Beatty’s total funding for youth sport in London to almost £1.5 million over the past 5 years.

But the biggest winners were those given the chance to dream. The “16 for 16” may have the potential to go on to compete at Rio de Janeiro and are already winners.

For all those involved in turning the current Olympic spotlight onto the next generation there could be no more fitting legacy than the smiles already lighting up young faces in London 2012.

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