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May 28, 2019

Grant amount: £150,000

British Paralympic Association

  • Grant programme: Trustees' Discretion
  • Region: Nationwide

Towards the cost of the ParalympicsGB Tokyo Performance and Medical Centre

About the organisation

We are ParalympicsGB. As the National Paralympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, it’s our responsibility to select, prepare, enter, fund and manage the team at the summer and winter Paralympic Games. We are a force for change for disabled people across the UK. We harness the inspirational impact of Paralympic athletes to both challenge perceptions of disability and encourage grassroots participation in sport.

Organisation’s objectives

The Paralympics started more than 70 years ago as a small sports competition for British World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries. Today, it’s the world’s third biggest sporting event. Thousands of international athletes compete, watched by over 4 billion viewers in 154 countries.

As the Paralympics has grown, so has its impact on attitudes and society.

With the ParalympicsGB consistently making the top three in the medals table, our athletes inspire the nation. Those performances on the world stage create the gold dust that gives us the currency to change society off the field of play and improve attitudes towards disability. Our ambition is to ensure a better lived experience for disabled people and create an environment where all disabled people can thrive.

At ParalympicsGB, we inspire action and change attitudes in sport and in society. We do this in two key ways:

  1. We support Paralympic athletes before, during and after the Games. For example, our Paralympic Inspiration Programme nurtures aspiring Paralympic talent, providing the motivation and tools athletes need to be selected for the Games. Over a third of our participants have won Paralympic medals.

“Without doubt the programme was hugely influential in helping me medal at the Paralympic Games.” Piers Gilliver, Paralympic Fencer, who won Silver in Rio 2016 and Gold, Silver, Bronze in Tokyo 2020

  1. We shift perceptions and push for equity for disabled people through our community sports and schools programmes. These include Get Set: Be the Change, where young people take action in their community to make it more inclusive. The programme is co-produced with teachers, disabled and non-disabled young people with input from Paralympians.

About the project

Paralympic Performance Centre at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, ParalympicsGB roared its way to a record success, finishing second in the medal table, despite the tough local conditions and COVID-19 concerns. ParalympicsGB were supported by the Paralympic Performance Centre, enabled by the generous contribution of £100,000 from the Peter Harrison Foundation.  The foundation also kindly gave £50,000 towards COVID-19 costs.

The Paralympic Performance Centre brings together the leading experts in sports science and sports medicine to work collaboratively in a bespoke medical centre.  This seamless service across multiple disciplines is provided within the “GB bubble”, away from other competing nations and in line with the care provided in the UK, offering a safe and comfortable space for the team to receive the care and support needed.  The Paralympic Performance Centre is widely acknowledged as a critical part of delivering optimal performance.

The performance centre was operational for 18 days (18th Aug to 5th Sept) from 07:00-23:00, a total of 288 hours.

Putting the wellbeing and welfare of the team at the centre, with thanks to the support of the Peter Harrison Foundation, ParalympicsGB implemented extensive COVID-19 testing and COVID protocols throughout the preparation and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. No athlete was unable to compete due to a COVID-19 related reason.

Impact of PHF’s support

Paralympic Performance Centre

Through its operational period of 288 hours, 671 hours of bookings were made for Performance Centre spaces and staff – the equivalent to 37 hours a day of bookings. All 16 of the sports based within or near the Paralympic Village utilised the Performance Centre. (Cycling, equestrian and taekwondo were based outside the city of Tokyo so were not able to access the centre.)  In addition, six sports were supported by the Performance Centre core staff at their competition venue: rowing, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, wheelchair fencing and wheelchair rugby.

The Post Games Evaluation survey showed overwhelming support for the Performance Centre, with the majority saying the facilities were world class and nearly all saying that they were well supported for their health and wellbeing.

“I accessed the facilities of the performance centre.  Staff always helpful and accommodating.”

“I was very poorly whilst in the athlete village and I couldn’t have been supported better”

We use the platform provided by the Paralympic Games to push for equity for disabled people through our community sports and schools programmes. For example, “Travel to Tokyo” programme for Get Set, the award-winning digital youth engagement programme to help children including disabled children get active, reached 850,000 children. Following on from the success we recently launched Get Set: Be the Change – a groundbreaking project to change perceptions of disability and to empower young people to take action in their community to make it inclusive. Every Body Moves, the award-winning web platform connects disabled people and local accessible sports club and community and has over 10,000 listings.

How does the organisation exemplify PHF’s values?

Our values define us. How we do things is as important as what we do. They define how others see us and ultimately how we judge our own success. We work collectively to embed a culture of winning the right way. Whilst we strive to live our values in everything we do, we hold ourselves and others to account when we fall short so that we can learn and improve.

Excellence: Everything we do reflects our ambition to be world leading. We care deeply about what we do and bring a flexible, positive and progressive approach to our interactions with others.

Respect: Our relationships with each other, our partners and the wider community are based on respect, trust, and a deep-seated belief in diversity, inclusion and the value of our differences.

Integrity: We demand the highest standards from ourselves and others, seeking always to do the right thing and to engage with openness and transparency in all that we do.

We are committed to a ‘people first’ approach. We value and respect difference. We understand that we can only achieve our vision by working in collaboration with others. Even when our role requires us to lead and challenge to bring about change, we recognise the BPA’s unique position in the UK elite sport landscape and the need to work in partnership with others to achieve our goals. Whilst Entrepreneurship is not one of our values highlighted specifically, we hope our approach resonates with that of the Peter Harrison Foundation.

Sustainability – Our Mission is to enable world-leading performance at the Paralympic Games and to drive positive, sustainable change in UK society. We achieve this by working in close collaboration with others. In addition, as set out in our ten-year strategy, Championing Change 2022-2032, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact. With partners, we will build and deliver a credible approach to environmental sustainability and measurable reductions in our carbon footprint over the next ten years.