National Paralympic Day: Swimmers to return to London Aquatics Centre
International swimmers will once again compete in the iconic London Aquatics Centre as part of National Paralympic Day
For the first time since the London 2012 Paralympic Games, international swimmers will once again compete in the iconic London Aquatics Centre as part of National Paralympic Day on Saturday 30 August.
Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, a day of celebrations is taking place across the country, including a free family festival in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, showcasing the very best in disability sports.
Attending the launch was disability swimmer Amy Marren, a London 2012 Team GB Paralympic swimmer, who plans to relive some of her happiest memories as she looks to star once again in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
“I think National Paralympics Day is a great event because not only does it raise the profile of the Paralympics, which has come a long, long way since London 2012, but it also gives people an opportunity to meet their role models and heroes,” Marren added.
“It’s probably one of my favourite events of the year. You can meet the athletes, take part in the give-it-a-go sessions and it’s just a great day to get an understanding of what Paralympic sport is and what we try to promote, which is that there is no boundaries for disability athletes; you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
“I’d say it’s a massive honour to be involved in National Paralympic Day. Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed that I would be a Paralympian, so to be involved is something that I’m absolutely over the moon about.”
And after locking herself away for GCSE revision Marren also insists she is ready to blow the cobwebs away in style at next month’s European Championships.
At 15 years old, Marren has the difficult job of balancing her blossoming swimming career with her studies at Hall Mead School.
But so far the teenager hasn’t let that slow her down, qualifying for the London 2012 Paralympics before leaving last year’s World Championships with four golds and two silvers.
Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed that I would be a Paralympian, so to be involved is something that I’m absolutely over the moon about
This year has proved slightly trickier as her GCSEs have taken centre stage, but having seen off that challenge Marren is now ready to turn her attentions to her continental rivals next month in Eindhoven.
“This season has probably been the hardest season that I’ve had so far,” said Marren, who is a member of Romford Town Swimming Club. “I’ve just had my GCSEs and it’s been hard balancing revision and training.
“Even though it’s hard work I have enjoyed it, the start of the season went really well and now we’re on the more technical part of the season and I’m looking forward to the European Championships in five weeks time. It’s just a case of fine tuning now.
“It’s my first European Championships and I’m just going there to continue my development and gain experience. Obviously every international competition leading up to Rio 2016 is going to count so I’d be happy with some strong swims and some personal bests.
“Rio was always the main aim and anything that I’ve done before that has been a bonus – London 2012, World Championships, European Championships and the Worlds again next year. As long as I keep enjoying it and as long as I keep fit and healthy I’m just going to keep chugging on.”
Exactly two years to the day since Great Britain won its first medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, sporting superstars, including 10 ParalympicsGB medallists from London 2012, will return to the water at the London Aquatics Centre for two thrilling sessions of racing.
Also set to excite spectators will be the stars of Boccia, Goalball and Wheelchair Basketball.
Top athletes from these three Paralympic sports will be in action at the Copper Box Arena, the venue of last year’s event which saw 6,000 supporters cheer on the very best British and international athletes.
National Paralympic Day will be celebrated on Saturday August 30 with a day of Paralympic sport and disability arts in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. To buy tickets for the Paralympic sport, log on to www.axs.com/national-paralympic-day. #NPD2014 is supported by Spirit of 2012.