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Coe visits the International Paralympic Committee headquarters

26th February 2008

Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), became the first Chairman of an organising committee to visit the headquarters of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

He visited the IPC headquarters in Bonn, Germany, for a meeting with IPC President Sir Philip Craven and Chief Executive Xavier Gonzalez to meet senior officials and to be briefed about the work of the IPC, as well as meeting the newly appointed IPC Paralympic Ambassadors.

“I am very impressed with the range of work that the IPC is undertaking” said Seb. “I re-iterated to Sir Philip and his team that the London 2012 Paralympic Games are an essential part of our plans. Thanks to the work of the team at the IPC, the Paralympic Games has developed into one of the biggest, most important and inspirational sporting events in the world. I want the London 2012 Paralympic Games to be a huge festival of sport, with the whole world watching events such as Athletics and Wheelchair Basketball, but also other sports that might be new to them such as Boccia, Goalball, Wheelchair Tennis and Wheelchair Rugby. I want to set new standards on and off the track and be a force for change for public attitudes towards disability.”

Seb also spoke about the huge potential the Paralympic Games can offer sponsors and said that this is an area of huge untapped potential.

“Sponsors throughout the world should think about the unparalleled opportunities getting involved in the Paralympic Games can bring. The Paralympics make for a compelling and credible human story of challenge and achievement that everyone can relate to. Involvement in the Paralympic Games can demonstrate an organisation’s commitment to the development of elite sport as well as demonstrating social responsibility.

“LOCOG has recently conducted some market research which shows that 69% of people in the UK want to see more coverage of the Paralympic Games. This shows an appetite and an understanding in the UK market, where the BBC and others have already done a lot to generate knowledge – there was 98% awareness of the Paralympics in the audience we surveyed. Organisations throughout the world should consider getting involved in the Paralympics, and all the partners we have taken on are committed to supporting both the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. I hope to see this trend increase over the coming years.”

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