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enable Forget can’t - think can!



The Road to

GOLDEN BOY Jonnie Peacock talks training

SPORTS UNCOVERED Your complete guide to the Paralympic events

GET INVOLVED Sporting opportunities on your doorstep

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The Road to Rio

PUBLISHER Denise Connelly

Hello, and welcome to the Paralympic souvenir edition of Enable Magazine! The Paralympic Games are, without a doubt, one of the most exciting events in the sporting calendar. You get just under two weeks of some of the most exhilarating sport going – from the action on the athletics track to my personal favourite wheelchair rugby – and a window where disability is in the spotlight for all the right reasons. The Games don’t just showcase some of the very best sporting talent the world has to offer – disabled or otherwise. They also give disabled people a platform they don’t often get. It’s a chance to say, ‘This is what we’re capable of.’ To shrug off negative perceptions or pity. To just get out there and get on with it. And pick up some medals along the way. And while not everyone can be a Paralympian – or want to, if you’re like me and more at home getting involved from your sofa! – it’s an opportunity to be a part of something huge. ParalympicsGB is so much more than the 258 men and women who will be running, jumping, throwing, shooting and riding their way to victory. It’s about you too – the supporters, the fans, the people cheering them on from the side lines. Many of the athletes we spoke to who had competed at London 2012 said it was the public support that really pushed them – so get involved! Whether you’re screaming from your settee, sharing your support on social media or roaring on the stadia in Rio itself, your voice matters. So show the GB team that you’re behind them and get on board this September. I promise you – you’re in for some of the best sporting action you’ll ever see. So good luck ParalympicsGB – get out there and show the rest of the world what we’re made of!

EDITOR Lindsay Cochrane STAFF WRITER Kirsty McKenzie EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTOR Rachael Fulton DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Emma Goodman SALES Dorothy Martin PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Lisa McCabe DC Publishing Ltd, 200 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HG Tel: 0844 249 9007 Fax: 0141 353 0435


Lindsay Cochrane, Editor



The Road To

GOLDEN BOY Jonnie Peacock talks training

SPORTS UNCOVERED Your complete guide to the Paralympic events



Forget can’t - think can!

GET INVOLVED Sporting opportunities on your doorstep



Supported by

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8 Adam Hills The Last Leg presenter took some time out to talk to Enable before flying out to Rio where he’ll be presenting the show live from the Olympic Park.

13 What to watch If you can’t schedule your life around the Games, we’ve rounded up the events worth watching during this year’s Paralympics.

48 The classifications explained Don’t know your T31 from your S11? You’re definitely not alone! We give an overview of how the Paralympic classications system works.

©DC Publishing Ltd 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any way without prior written permission from the publisher. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of DC Publishing Ltd. The publisher takes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers within the publication. Every effort has been made to ensure that information is accurate; while dates and prices are correct at the time of going to print, DC Publishing takes no responsibility for omissions and errors. Note: this is not an official publication of the Rio 2016 Games and has been produced independently by DC Publishing. Some of the advertisers gathered here have no relation to the Rio 2016 Games and only sponsor this issue of Enable, unless otherwise stated. | Enable - The Road to Rio

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What’s inside


26 Get active

The Athletes

15 Product roundup

The golden boy of London 2012 has big ambitions for the Rio Games.


22 Jess Stretton Archer Jess is gearing up for her first Games.

27 Libby Clegg VI sprinter Libby has overcome a few hurdles in the last year.

28 Micky Yule The ex-forces powerlifter compares competing with life in the military.

49 Will Bayley Table tennis star Will reflects on his journey to Rio.

50 Jessica-Jane Applegate The swimmer tells Enable about her hopes for this summer’s Games.

Spectating 8 ADAM HILLS The Last Leg host on how things have changed for disabled people since London 2012.

13 What to watch The standout events to tune into in September. 4

16 Paralympic programming

© onEdition

10 Jonnie Peacock

If you want to get out and get active, check out our product guide for inspiration.

20 Do it yourself Fancy yourself as the next David Weir? Look up to

PIC: Rio2016/Alex Ferro



Hannah Cockroft? We take a look at how you can get involved in sport.

25 Let’s get physical An overview of some of the organisations helping people of all abilities get into sport right across the UK. What will you try?

We take a look at what Paralympic broadcaster Channel 4 has to offer armchair sports fans.

18 RJ Mitte The Breaking Bad actor talks to Enable about his new role, presenting Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage.

26 The venues A quick overview of the stadia playing host to the world’s most impressive athletes.

31 Meet the supporters The big companies backing the British Paralympic Association and ParalympicsGB share why they’re supporting our athletes.

48 Understanding the classifications We break down how the Paralympic classification system works.

The sports This year’s Games will see the world’s most talented athletes come together from around the world to battle it out for gold in 22 different sports. From archery to wheelchair tennis, we uncover the ins and outs of the different events on offer, and who’ll be representing Great Britain. From page 32.

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GO PARALY We got in touch with our friends in the world of charity, politics and entertainment to collect some inspirational words to spur on our athletes this summer in Rio. Here’s what they had to say

“I want to wish ParalympicsGB the very best of luck for Rio 2016. I’m proud that we have such a talented team representing us from all over the United Kingdom. From archery to judo, athletics to swimming, the team is made up of world-class athletes who will be giving everything to win a medal. The whole country is right behind them.” Prime Minister Theresa May “The Olympics and Paralympics are two of the highest profile competitions in the world and a tremendous platform for sports stars to show off their incredible athleticism and dedication, and I’m delighted that some of Scotland’s top names will be in Rio. There is no higher honour than representing your country on a global stage – I’m sure it will be a highlight for all and I wish all 32 of our Paralympians and their colleagues in the GB team the very best.” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon


“I’m really looking forward to the Paralympics because it is raising awareness of people with disabilities. I wish the GB team every success, especially Jessica-Jane Applegate, who is an ambassador for Mencap. I’m sure she’ll be brilliant and I’d like to see more athletes with a learning disability get the chance to compete in the Paralympics.” Harry Roche, sports fan and Mencap ambassador “Like I said in my speech at the Paralympic dinner – the English rugby team has an Australian coach and they’ve just beaten Australia, and the English cricket team has an Australian coach and they’ve just beaten Australia. Australians are good at telling the Brits to beat us. If you beat Australia in the medal tally, I will paint my prosthetic leg with all of the names of all the gold medal winners – and dye my hair red, white and blue like the Union flag. Do it for your country, do it

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Y MPICSGB! “Following years of dedication and commitment to your sport, the Rio Paralympics are finally here. Everyone at the Spinal Injuries Association wishes ParalympicsGB the best of luck. Your hard work and team spirit is an inspiration to us all as we strive to achieve our own goals and overcome our own life challenges. We’ll be supporting you and cheering you on throughout your Paralympic journey.” Sue Browning, CEO, Spinal Injuries Association “As someone with a disability, I constantly challenge the stereotypes associated with having a physical difference. The UK Paralympic team make a huge impact on people’s perception of disability in society by taking their own disability and turning it into a medal winning ability. They make me proud to be British but more importantly, proud to be disabled.” Warwick Davis, actor

“To all you GB superhumans heading to Rio – your Olympic counterparts have set a very high bar indeed, but we all have absolute faith that you can not only reach it but surpass it. You have an enormous amount of experience amongst your ranks and a world-leading team working exhaustively to ensure your talents reach their peak potential. From all of us at Channel 4 (your biggest fans) – good luck, and kick some ass!” Arthur Williams, Channel 4 Paralympic presenter “You’ve trained hard and there are high hopes for what you can achieve. You are an inspiration to us all, testament to physical and mental courage and what the human spirit is capable of. You also provide us with a timely reminder of the talent and potential of disabled people. Good luck for the Games!” Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Disabled People “Everyone at RNIB is really excited about the 2016 Paralympics and we wish all of ParalympicsGB good luck. Don’t forget to have fun showing the world exactly what British sportspeople with disabilities can achieve.” Sally Harvey, Interim Chief Operating Officer of RNIB

“A massive GOOD LUCK to our incredible GB Paralympics team. It’s time for all your superhuman commitment and hard work to pay off. The country have been riding high on the Olympics and I know you will take them to the next level, so once again good luck, enjoy every minute and all of us at Channel 4 can’t wait to share your success with the country.” JJ Chalmers, Channel 4 Paralympic presenter “Whizz-Kidz wants to wish all of ParalympicGB the best of luck at the Paralympic Games in Rio. We’ll be watching and cheering you on every step of the way! Your dedication and skill are an inspiration to young disabled people – bring on those golds, silvers and bronzes!” George Fielding, Whizz-Kidz’s Kidz Board Chair “Best of luck to all the athletes heading to Rio for the Paralympic Games – I can’t wait to see all 258 of you in action. The Olympic GB team have made history – now it’s your turn to show the world just how GREAT you are too! See you in Rio!” – Sophie Morgan, Channel 4 Paralympic presenter | Enable - The Road to Rio

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for yourselves – and do it to make an Australian look like a tool.” Adam Hills, Channel 4 Paralympic presenter and comedian


23/08/2016 17:41


“I am going to be cheering on the Aussies” ADAM HILLS

The Last Leg was the surprise success of Channel 4’s Paralympic programming back in 2012. Adam Hills, who fronts the show alongside Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker, took some time out before heading out to Rio for daily broadcasts of the popular satirical news show to speak with Enable



’m very excited about the Paralympics. I’m excited to go to Rio. I’m excited to cover the Paralympics again generally, because I love the Paralympics. I’m hesitant to see what the funding cuts are going to do, but I’m also fired up because I know it gives us an extra angle for The Last Leg! When I found out about the funding issue, I was really angry. They did such a great job in London and Beijing and Sydney for the Paralympic movement. We know that the Paralympics affects the way people see disabled people generally. Four years ago, Paralympians were seen as heroes. Right now, the feeling is they’re not worth spending money on. It’s going to be our job on The Last Leg to call out Rio for what they’ve done wrong, but also to big up the Paralympians – the people who have spent four years training to get there. My favourite sport is wheelchair basketball. I love it. There’s something about wheelchair basketball. It’s really fast. The first time you see someone getting knocked over in a wheelchair, you think, ‘Oh my God, that poor thing!’ But after the tenth time, you’re going, ‘Get up, you lazy cow!’ I’ll be watching a lot of that. The Last Leg is a British show so we’ll be concentrating on British Paralympians – but I am going to be cheering on the Aussies! Someone like David Weir, who I’ve now done a couple of bits with and get along well

with, is up against Kurt Fearnley, who I’m also friends with, from Australia. It’s not just patriotism for me now – friendships are on the line! I think that things have changed for disabled people since London 2012. The problem is though, you’ve got the Paralympics which say, ‘Disabled people can do anything.’ But you’ve also got a government who are going, ‘In that case, lets cut back on your benefits, because you can do anything.’ They forget the fact that the reason why someone like Jonnie Peacock can run like he can is because he’s had government assistance – we all have. Attitudes towards disabled people after any Paralympics are better. Whether it’s Sydney or Beijing. In order to hold the Paralympics, you have to make your city accessible. I went to the Forbidden City in Beijing, and I saw an old guy in a wheelchair and I thought, he might not ever have been able to go there. Thanks to the Paralympics, he can go there, he can go to the Great Wall. Every four years, it’s like the Paralympics enlighten a different country about disability. And that’s amazing.

i Watch The Last Leg: Welcome to Rio, every evening during the Paralympics, live on Channel 4. AS TOLD TO LINDSAY COCHRANE


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The athletes

the big interview


He sprinted his way to gold in the T44 100m at London 2012, and this year Jonnie Peacock is preparing himself to match that success in Rio. The 23-year-old Cambridge native took some time out from his rigorous training regime to talk life on the track with Enable’s Lindsay Cochrane

THE FACTS • As a kid, Jonnie played for St Ives Rangers under-13s. • He lost his right leg to meningitis aged five, undergoing dozens of operations – but he refused to use a wheelchair and always remained active and involved in sport like rugby and football. • Jonnie won a gold medal at the 2009 UK School Games – and came fifth in the Paralympic World Cup the same year. • He scooped a gold medal at London 2012 for the T44 100m, crossing the finish line in an impressive 10.90 seconds. • In 2012, he broke a world record for the 100m, with a time of 10.85 seconds – this has since been beaten by US athlete Richard Browne.


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The athletes

How are you feeling about Rio? Excited. Very excited. I’ve had a long, long season this year. Not that I’d lost my motivation, but I’m starting to get pumped about it. Now that the Olympics have started, it gives you such a buzz – it makes you excited, knowing it’s real. This is happening now. Soon, it’ll be you on those blocks. The opportunity’s going to be there.

How have things changed for you since London 2012? They haven’t changed drastically. I’m a little bit busier. It gives you confidence. I feel like when I get on the track now, I’m a lot more confident. Other than that, I’m trying to do exactly what I did before. Training comes first. I’ve just got to train hard and train smart.

What does your pre-Games training regime involve? A little bit of everything. There’s a mix of technical training sessions during the week, which can vary between working on the start or the latter part of the race. The next part of that is weights. You’ve got to be powerful to run fast. We’re in the gym a few hours a week. We’ll do circuits, little jumps and throws – all stuff to go towards my performance and physical condition.

When you first started out, did you ever imagine you’d get this far? No. [laughs] Never in my wildest dreams. I remember when I first started the sport I had my little mirror and I’d written times on it – they were all achievements that I wanted to do, and none of them are even close to what I’m doing now. Things like top 10 in the world, top 20, European records – which was 11.50 at the time. These were all things that I wanted to do, and I was close to them at that age. Then I moved to London with a great coach and everything started snowballing. It just got better and better. I couldn’t believe the times that I was doing. Now it’s about maintaining that.

What’s been your career highlight? London 2012, without a doubt. The only thing that will even come close to that is Rio. As a sporting achievement, it will be a lot bigger for me. It’s going to be a lot harder. I

look back on London and I was so naïve. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for! Young kids are the most dangerous, they’ve not been before – they just don’t know what’s going on, they don’t care, they just go for it. The older you get, the more you know what to expect. There’s more added pressure with my achievements from before – but it’s the same race. The same starting blocks, the same finish line, the same length. I’m just going to try run as fast as I can.

What are you looking forward to most? Finishing my race so I can go get hammered and eat a big massive burger! And hopefully celebrate. I don’t think I’ll be wanting to do that if I’ve nothing to celebrate! If I can finish a race with the shiniest of the shiny medals, I’ll be very, very happy. I just want to enjoy the moment.

What do you hope people take away from the Games? I hope it’s similar to what happened in London. Paralympic sport shot through the roof at London 2012. People started looking at the Paralympics as sport, at the competitive nature of it, the entertainment value. There were some really close races, there was some great rivalries, people pushing boundaries and the limits of what their body is capable of, and people realised that during London. That’s what I want – for that to carry on. The Paralympics seem to be nailed over here now in the UK. I want to introduce the Americans to the Paralympics. I want them to realise it’s high level sport; that we train just as hard and it’s just as entertaining.

What are your career goals for the next few years? We’ve got Rio, that’s the main one. I want to do well at that. Then there’s London 2017 [World ParaAthletics Championships] next year – that will be mega. After that, we have a break for a few months so I can breathe for a little while and remember what life’s about! After that, it’s time to push on and see what’s next.

i Jonnie Peacock is a BT Ambassador. BT is a long-time supporter of disability sport in the UK and the founding partner to the British Paralympic Association. | Enable - The Road to Rio

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I’M THE ONE WHO FULFILS MY POTENTIAL Gymnastics is an inclusive sport. That means our coaches adapt every activity around your physical, sensory and learning requirements. So whatever type of gymnastics you want to try, it really couldn’t be easier to get involved - and find out what you’re capable of. Are you ready to discover just how awesome you are and what kind of gymnast you’ll be?

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WHAT TO WATCH What: Opening ceremony When: 7 September London’s success: The last Paralympic opening ceremony was inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Organisers at Rio said that they will only be spending a tenth of the London budget but we should expect “creativity, rhythm and emotion” – and let’s be honest, with a nation famed for its carnivals, we’re in for a massive party!

Topping ParalympicsGB’s London performance of 120 medals won’t be easy, but with old favourites and talented newcomers joining the British squad, it’s sure to be one of the most memorable Games yet. So you don’t miss out on any of the top class sporting action this September, we’ve rounded up some of the events to look out for

What: Athletics When: 8-18 September London success: 29 medals (11 gold, seven silver and 11 bronze) One to watch: She may only be 16, but T35 athlete Maria Lyle is a world record holder and double European champion. She was too young to run in the London Games despite some supporters believing she was too talented to leave behind. Four years later, she’s ready to show everyone how good she really is.

What: Shooting When: 8-14 September London success: Three (one silver, two bronze) One to watch: Three-time Paralympic medallist Matt Skelhon will be looking to add some more to his collection in Rio. He won gold back in Beijing in 2008 before going on to nab silver and bronze in London.

What: Cycling When: 8-11 September (track); 14-17 September (road) London success: 22 medals (eight gold, nine silver and five bronze) One to watch: The British para-cycling team topped the medal table four years ago and are aiming to do it all over again. Dame Sarah Storey won four golds at London 2012 and has her sights on her fifth.

CARNIVAL TIME: The Maracanã Stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies

What: Swimming When: 8-17 September

What: Sailing When: 12-17 September

London success: 39 medals (seven gold, 16 silver, 16 bronze) One to watch: Abby Kane, who turned 13 in August, will make her Paralympic debut in Rio. But she’s no amateur – she’s already lowered the British record in the S13 100m backstroke. Twice.

London success: Two (one gold, one bronze) One to watch: Defending Paralympic champion Helena Lucas was the first athlete to be named for the Rio Games – she was selected to be on the team way back in April 2015.

What: Closing ceremony When: 18 September

What: Powerlifting When: 8-14 September London success: One (bronze) One to watch: World and European champion Ali Jawad heads the GB powerlifting team. He narrowly missed out on a medal at London 2012 so has his heart set on big success this year.

London success: 2012’s closing ceremony featured performances from everybody from Coldplay to the British Paraorchestra. It’ll be tough to beat, but there is no doubt that Rio’s finale will go out with a bang.

i Catch all the Paralympic action on Channel 4 from 7 September | Enable - The Road to Rio

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EXPLORE OUR RANGE Simple things are often the best.

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Get active

product roundup If you’re feeling inspired by our Paralympians, there’s no reason not to get out, get active and get involved in sport and physical activity! From aids to help you get out and about to fitness trackers, we take a look at some of the products that will help you get there

Car Cane Mobility Aid

Fitbit Alta

If you want to get out and about and struggle with getting in and out of your car, let the Car Cane give you your freedom back. Car Cane’s non-slip grip is comfortable to hold and gives you the leverage to lift yourself up. Forged aluminium construction can hold 350lbs (160kg). With built-in LED flashlight, it can be stored easily in your door or glove box. Get it: Argos, £14.99 (www.

The Fitbit has revolutionised the way we live our lives, with users competitively tracking their steps with this high-tech pedometer. The Alta is a slimline smart watch which delivers your fitness progress in real time. It’ll track steps taken, distance covered, calories burned and exercise sessions, as well as your sleeping pattern to give a full picture of your health. Get it: John Lewis, £99.95 (www. johnlewis. com)

Active Hands Active Hands gripping aids are great for those who have weakness in their hands – making slippery gym equipment a breeze. They’re even going to be used by the ParalympicsGB team in Rio! For the non-athletes out there, the general purpose aids are great for weight lifting and using most standard gym machines. Get it: Active Hands, £49.95 (

MOTOmed muvi The MOTOmed muvi from Medimotion is a great home exercise option for those affected by stroke, spinal injury and other conditions affecting mobility and movement. The muvi enables arm and leg training at the same time, reducing therapy time. It’s easy to use, adjustable in height and has proven results too. Call the team for a free home demonstration. Get it: Medimotion, POA (www., 01559 384 097)

• Chair Gym System The Chair Gym’s compact and portable design uses adjustable resistance for a smooth, controlled range of motion. It has three different levels of resistance; beginner, intermediate and advanced, making it easy for anyone, any age or fitness level to get results, all while seated in a safe, stable, comfortable chair – with dual cushion padding for great back support. Get it: Argos, £69.99 (www.argos. | Enable - The Road to Rio

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PIC: © Channel 4 Television



Just because the Games are taking place in Rio, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the action. We take a look at what Channel 4 has to offer sports fans Back in 2012, when the summer Paralympic Games kicked off, Britain was quickly whipped into a parasporting frenzy – and a big part of that was down to Channel 4. The coverage of London 2012 was unparalleled, with over 400 hours of coverage broadcast during the Games – far more than anything delivered by a Paralympic broadcaster in the past. And the praise that followed was totally deserved. The channel even beat off stiff competition from the BBC to pick up a Television Bafta for best sport and live event. And 2016 is set to be just as huge. This year, Channel 4 has unveiled plans to broadcast over 700 hours of Paralympic coverage both on air and online.

TOP-CLASS SPORT The broadcaster will be offering a mix of top-class sporting action and entertainment, combining traditional


reports from the Paralympic arenas with shows like the super successful The Last Leg, all broadcast live from Rio. “The Rio Paralympics will be one of the most ambitious live broadcasts in Channel 4’s history,” said the channels’ head of TV events and sport Ed Harvard. “We’re not only delivering the most comprehensive and innovative coverage of the Games ever, we’ll be setting another record by bringing together the largest team of disabled onscreen and off-screen talent ever seen on UK television. It promises to be an epic celebration of what will hopefully be a huge haul of medals for our Paralympic stars.” And it’s quite a presenting team that they’ve assembled. Hosts include Ade Adepitan, Sophie Morgan, Arthur Williams and RJ Mitte, who’ll be appearing alongside veteran sports presenters like Clare Balding and former Olympian Jonathan Edwards. The Last Leg team of Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe will also be

assembled for their daily roundup of goings on at the Games with a comedy twist.

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY And it’s not just on-screen that diversity is being celebrated – the Games’ coverage will have 26 members of production staff with disabilities too. Coverage will include both the opening and closing ceremonies, over 120 hours of televised sports programming, The Last Leg, and nearly 700 hours of online streaming of sport. Each morning, viewers will get a highlights package of the previous day too. It’ll also be the most accessible Games in history, with subtitles available across all coverage, and live audio description and signing of the opening and closing ceremonies simulcast on 4seven. Audio described and signed versions of The Last Leg will also be available on 4seven soon after the live broadcast. With so much broadcast action on offer, there’s no excuse not to get behind ParalympicsGB this summer – so whip out your Union Jack and get ready to start cheering from the comfort of your home!

i Turn the page to read our interview with Paralympic presenter RJ Mitte.

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“The Paralympics

are about real people, real achievements, amazing stories”RJ MITTE

He shot to fame as Walt Jr in Breaking Bad, and this September US actor RJ Mitte is taking on an entirely new challenge – reporting from Rio daily as part of Channel 4’s Paralympic presenting team. We caught up with the star, who has cerebral palsy, ahead of his new role

I was excited! There hasn’t really been much in terms of Paralympic coverage in the past, and Channel 4 has really pioneered that market – in hours, in media, in shows. They’re creating awareness of what these athletes are doing – it’s very smart of the network to do this. This is what people want. The Paralympics are about real people, real achievements, amazing stories.

It’s a brilliant team of presenters they’ve got too, including Clare Balding and Ade Adepitan – it must be incredible to be a part of that. Oh, it’s an extreme honour. I’m in the best company in the world. I’ve been lucky in my career to always work with the best in one degree or another.

What’s your role going to be in the programming? That’s a very good question! Everything, anything, whatever they want me to do – I’ll do it. I’ll be all over the place – and I can’t wait.

What are you looking forward to most about the Games? I’m really looking forward to being there, the camaraderie, the push, the will, the fight to get gold – I enjoy that part of sport.

Are you a sports fan yourself? I am. My favourite Paralympic sport? I’ve been really getting into murderball, wheelchair rugby. But I enjoy sports in general. Put me on a field, tell me the rules and send me on my way – I love it. When it

comes down to this year’s Paralympic Games, I want to be involved across the board and see as many sports as possible.

Why do you think the Paralympic movement is important? The Paralympics aren’t just important for the disabled community – they’re important to the whole community, raising awareness of who we are and what we can do. The Olympics are about pushing your body to the max. What’s amazing with the Paralympics is that sometimes the times are just as fast as the Olympics. Sometimes faster. It’s insane seeing these people who are warriors, who sometimes people feel sorry for – there’s no reason to feel sorry for them at all. They’re no different to anyone else. I think it’s really important to show what the human body can do.

And finally – you’re doing the UK coverage, but will you be cheering on the US or Britain this summer? I’ll be cheering a little bit for everyone! It’s funny, I usually go for who’s ready to win. Everyone goes with the intention to win and goes for it, but not everyone is prepared to win. I usually root for the person who’s prepared to win. You can see who wants it the most.

i RJ will be doing special reports from Rio during Channel 4’s evening coverage throughout the Paralympic Games. Head to for more information.



How did you feel when you were approached by Channel 4 to work on their Paralympic coverage?

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Get active

DO IT YOURSELF Getting into sport doesn’t just improve your ďŹ tness, it also boosts your mental health and widens your social circle. If you want to enjoy sport at grassroots level, here are some tips on how you can get involved


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Get active

REACH OUT TO A LOCAL COACH If you’ve done a quick Google search of clubs in your local area, or used the Parasport site to identify sports that suit your needs (, why not contact the coach in charge directly for more information? Disability sports coaches will be happy to chat to you about the passion they have for their sport, the disabilities the club caters for and how you can get involved. The club may also be able to put you in touch with some of their seasoned participants – your future teammates – to make you feel more relaxed about joining in. There are also national disability officers you can access for advice. A quick call to your local authority will allow you to be put in touch with experts who can give you guidance on the next step. It may seem daunting at first, but these officers are there to help and advise you on the best club to suit your needs. “If I had any advice for people wanting to get into grassroots sports, I’d tell them just to try it and they’ll be surprised how good they can be,” says Karl Bushell, a county table tennis coach based in Kiddlington, Oxford. “No one at these clubs is going to judge you. A lot of kids come into the club with an ‘I can’t’ attitude and their parents are just delighted to see them try. One lad with muscular dystrophy thought he couldn’t play and he wasn’t going to be any good, and by the end of the session he was returning 100 shots back without missing. That’s the joy of being a coach – seeing someone really take to your sport.” Table Tennis England’s disability officers routinely help participants into the sport, encouraging people with a range of disabilities to pick up a ping pong paddle. Whether you’re an experienced table tennis player or a total novice, there’s room for you at your local club.



ompetitive sport doesn’t get more inspiring than the Paralympic Games. Amputees injured in war zones tackle the velodrome, runners born with cerebral palsy out-strip their competitors on the track. The athletes have overcome emotional and physical challenges, endured intense training and dedicated their lives to succeeding at the top of their sport. If the Paras have got you in a sporting frame of mind but you’re not entirely sure you’ve got what it takes to compete, there are still plenty of ways for you to get involved in sport and reap the benefits.

HAVE A GO: Taster sessions, sports clubs and gyms nationwide offer opportunities for people with a range of abilities

17.8% of disabled people take part in sport for 30 minutes once a week “You’ll be more than welcome at these clubs,” says Karl. “Disability coaches are patient – we want you to have a good time while developing your skills in the sport.”

‘HAVE A GO’ EVENTS If you want to try a variety of sports as a one-off rather than head to a local club, there are plenty of events dotted around the country that will give you an insight into the diverse range of disability sports on offer. Some events are disability-specific and run by independent organisations, while others are organised by local authorities who want to inspire communities to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle, regardless of their ability. LimbPower hosts ‘introduction to sport’ workshops for people with limb impairments, encouraging a healthy lifestyle after amputation. Similarly, Cerebral Palsy Sport offer introductory swimming galas for people who have cerebral palsy or physical impairments. Details of upcoming disability sports events can be found at for those in England, for Scotland and for Wales. You can also call your local authority and ask for information on any upcoming ‘have a go’ events. DO YOUR HOMEWORK If you want to do your own research in how to get involved in sport, you can visit to explore opportunities in your area. The site has listings of 2,649 clubs across the UK that

offer inclusive activities, ranging from wheelchair fencing to trampolining. The listings provide a breakdown of the disabilities catered for at each club, whether it’s a swimming club that specialises in spinal cord injuries or an equestrian centre that caters for people with autism and learning difficulties. You can search by inputting your postcode to find opportunities in your area. If you need to know more about a club you’re interested in or want to plan ahead, you can call or email them using the contact details listed. Taking the first step to participating in a grassroots club couldn’t be easier.

GET IN TOUCH WITH EFDS One organisation that helps support grassroots sports clubs is the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS). They improve accessibility for disabled people by providing advice and guidance for small sports clubs in how to be more inclusive and support their disabled participants. Whether you want to try your hand at wheelchair basketball, boccia, or want to participate at a mainstream club, EFDS can point you in the right direction. “The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) exists to make active lives possible and ensure that millions of disabled people can lead active lifestyles,” says EFDS’s Sarah Marl. “We’re dedicated to helping disabled people in sport and physical activity, and we support a wide range of organisations to include disabled people more effectively. We look to a better future where everyone can enjoy the opportunities available. We have a vision that disabled people are active for life.”

i Interested in finding out more, or think your local club might need a lesson or two in inclusion? Visit | Enable - The Road to Rio

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The athletes


jess stretton Jess Stretton is ParalympicsGB’s answer to Katniss Everdeen. This year the 16-year-old archery star, who is a current world record holder and ranked joint number one in the world for para-archery, will raise her arrows in her first Paralympic Games. We caught up with the Hemel Hempstead native to chat about Rio How does it feel to have been selected for Rio? It feels pretty amazing. In the build-up to the selection it was quite stressful and exciting, as the answer could have been yes or no. I was just thinking ‘Oh God, what’s going to happen? Am I going to be selected?’ Now I’m feeling excited, but also bewildered – I keep thinking, ‘They really picked me!’

How did you get involved in archery? I went to a WheelPower Junior Camp to try out loads of different sports. Archery was the one that I picked up. The first camp I went to was in 2012, but I only really took it up in 2013, so actually it’s all happened within a very quick timeframe since then.

Did you have any idea you would take up the sport seriously? No, I only went to the camp to pick up a


new hobby. I had absolutely no inclination I’d be involved at this level. If someone had told me in the beginning I’d be doing this in future, I’d have laughed at them.

What’s training like at the moment? If I’m at school, I’ll do one or two hours’ training in the evening, but on a Wednesday and Friday I do all-day training at Lilleshall [National Sports and Conferencing Centre]. From now, training ramps up before the Games, as they get us prepared and make sure we’re ready to compete, make sure we’re fit.

Why did you choose archery – because you like it or because you’re good at it? A bit of both – a bit of passion for the sport but also because I was good at it. I love archery because there’s a great sense of achievement when you hear that thwack of the arrow hitting the target.

How do your family feel about you being selected? They are really proud and excited. Sadly it’s too expensive for them to fly out to Rio to watch me compete, but they will be sitting cheering me on from home in front of the TV.

What would you say to other young people who want to get into sport? I think the best route to go down would be to attend any opportunity you can, anything that’s near you. Go to the ‘have a go’ days, or sessions that are run locally. You never know who might be watching the sessions.

i Find out more about getting into archery at

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One Hogan Lovells. Many perspectives. Diversity is at the core of who we are and how we do business. We are a high-performing global team with people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences. We are at our best when we can be ourselves – working together and delivering for our clients. Hogan Lovells is an international legal practice that includes Hogan Lovells International LLP, Hogan Lovells US LLP and their affiliated businesses. Images of people may feature current or former lawyers and employees at Hogan Lovells or models not connected with the firm. Š Hogan Lovells 2016. All rights reserved.

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Get active


LET’s GET PHYSICAL It’s not all about striking gold at the Paralympics – our athletes know their medals are just as important as inspiring people to get out and get involved in parasport. So whether you’ve got your sights set on gold or if you’re just looking for a new activity, there are plenty of organisations out there to help get you started British Paralympic Association (BPA) As well as selecting, funding and managing Britain’s teams at the Paralympic Games and Paralympic Winter Games, the BPA is a great source of info. Their website offers full descriptions of all the different sports available and can help connect you with a club near you. BPA run Sports Fest too, a series of free events throughout the year that give disabled people the opportunity to try out loads of different Paralympic sports, find out how to get involved and meet some incredible Paralympic medal winners.

English Federation of Disability Sport EFDS support sports clubs across England to help get disabled people active and involved in physical activity. Their website is jam-packed with events, resources and information to help you get more involved in sport, whatever your impairment.

WheelPower WheelPower organise and support wheelchair sports at all levels, putting on events for junior, senior or rehabilitation purposes. The site can help connect you with a new sport or club and search for opportunities in your area.

LimbPower LimbPower came into being in November 2009 to help engage amputees in sport and physical activity, improving their quality of life and aiding rehabilitation at the same time. The charity can help you get involved with a wealth of activities, from tennis to sitting volleyball.

Cerebral Palsy Sport Cerebral Palsy Sport is the country’s leading

SPORT FOR ALL: People getting involved with The Dwarf Sports Assocation (top), WheelPower (right) and Cerebral Palsy Sport (left)

national disability sport organisation, supporting people with cerebral palsy to reach their sporting potential. They promote and provide sporting opportunities within athletics, football, bowls, swimming and table cricket.

Disability Snowsport UK See yourself as more of a snow bunny? Disability Snowsport UK help connect disabled people with slightly chillier sporting opportunities out on the slopes. Through their site you can book lessons, find local groups, volunteer or sign up for events and competitions.

Dwarf Sports Association UK The Dwarf Sports Association helps people with restricted growth explore active opportunities. They host taster sessions and events across the UK year-round, and help

you explore opportunities in your local area.

British Blind Sport British Blind Sport exists to help people with visual impairments get involved with sport. Hosting sporting competitions, supporting people with visual impairments get into sport, working with teachers to make sure children are included in PE and providing advice for clubs and coaches, this is a onestop shop for visually impaired people keen to get sporty.

UK Deaf Sport UK Deaf Sport support wannabe athletes, sports enthusiasts, coaches and teachers to help deaf people get involved in a variety of sports, from cycling to gymnastics. Whether you want to take up a sport for fun or you’re keen to work towards the 2017 Deaflympics, they’re worth contacting. | Enable - The Road to Rio

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The Olympic Stadium

The velodrome


Here’s a quick guide to some of the main arenas you’ll be seeing on your TVs during the Paralympics

Maracanã The opening and closing ceremonies

Deodoro Stadium Football 7-a-side

Maracanã is Rio’s stunning football stadium. It was modernised for the World Cup back in 2014, meaning it’s a top-notch facility – and seats over 78,000 people.

Sambódromo Archery The Sambódromo usually plays host to Rio’s famous carnival, but for the Games, it’s been given an upgrade, housing archery events with bleachers installed to seat 18,000 eager sports fans.

Fort Copacabana Athletics, triathlon Set at one end of the gorgeous Copacabana Beach, athletes in open air events will be hard pushed not to be distracted by the scenery!

Olympic Stadium Athletics The focal point of the Games, the Olympic Stadium was built for the Pan America Games in 2007. It’s been upgraded for 2016, with additional seating and a modernised running track. It’ll seat 60,000 people.

Carioca Arena Boccia, judo, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby Corioca is made up of three different arenas, and will host four of the indoor competitions.

Lagoa Stadium Canoe sprint, rowing Based at Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Lagoa Stadium will be the place to be for canoeing and rowing. It’s got a brand new arrival tower and Olympic-standard lanes.

Pontal Road cycling This temporary facility on the coast will be the start and finish for cycling’s road races.

Rio Olympic Velodrome Track cycling The stunning velodrome has a capacity of 5,000 spectators, and it’ll be used as a permanent training facility after the events of the summer.

Olympic Equestrian Centre Equestrian This million square metre arena is another legacy of the Pan America Games which has received an upgrade for 2016, seating 14,000 para-dressage fans.

Olympic Tennis Centre Wheelchair tennis, football 5-a-side ©2016_ANDREMOTTA




The Olympic Park


Located in the Barra Olympic Park, the tennis centre is a purpose-built permanent venue featuring 16 courts that’ll host wheelchair tennis and football 5-a-side.

The existing polo field has been temporarily transformed into a 15,000-capacity venue.

Future Arena Goalball After it hosts the goalball events, the Future Arena is being transformed into schools.

Youth Arena Wheelchair fencing The 5,000-capacity Youth Arena is an impressive purpose-built structure located on one of Rio’s busiest streets.

Riocentro Powerlifting, sitting volleyball, table tennis This exhibition and conference centre is the largest of its kind in Latin America. Built in 1977, it’s been given a face lift for the Games.

Marina da Glória Sailing Sailing events will take place in the waters of Guanabara Bay.

Olympic Shooting Centre Shooting The Olympic Shooting Centre was revamped after the Pan America Games to create a more modern venue.

Olympic Aquatics Stadium Swimming Accommodating almost 15,000 people, the brand new Aquatics Stadium is a stunning venue – but it’s only temporary.

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The athletes

LIBBY CLEGG You’ve been all over the world with your sport. What’s been your favourite country to visit?

Visually impaired sprinter Libby Clegg has two Paralympic medals under her belt already – and she’s hoping to add to the collection in Rio this September. The 26-year-old tells us about her journey to the 2016 Games

How did you get into sport? Through sports day at school. I was always quite competitive. I used to dance – which obviously isn’t that competitive itself. So my mum took me along to my local athletics club. I got involved with athletics from there.

How did it go from being a hobby to a career? When I was 12, I dropped dance and only did athletics. When I was 14, I got asked along to a development day for potential future athletes, and at 16, I got selected for my first World Championships as a senior. It was then that I thought, ‘This is something I could potentially go into.’ At that point, I didn’t really know how far it would go.

You had quite a tough year last year, with injury and losing your funding from UK Athletics. How are you getting on now? I’m doing well now. I’m looking after myself

now, so the responsibility of everything is on me. I’m responsible for everything, but it also means I’m in control of everything. Obviously, I discuss everything with my coach, but there are little things I can just change without getting the all clear. My injuries are something I’m going to have to manage long-term. Touch wood, I’ve not been injured so far this year. I think it would have been very easy for me to give up after being removed from the WCPP [World Class Performance Programme] and losing my funding. I’d feel like a bit of a failure if I just gave up, especially so close to Rio.

How’s training going? Training for Rio is going really, really well. I’m really enjoying training at the minute. I train with Charnwood Athletics Club, and then I do a variation of big volume sessions with club runners, sessions with myself and my guide and my coach, and then strength and conditioning in the gym. There’s good variety there.

I’ve been to so many different countries with my sport. I really liked Doha last year. That was quite an interesting country. I think South Africa is probably the nicest place I’ve been training. Lovely weather! I didn’t get to see much of South Africa while I was there, but it was definitely the nicest place I’ve been.

You’ve competed in two Paralympic Games so far – what have you seen change in disability sport in that time? The biggest difference is the interest that it has generated. I think people are more accepting of disability now too. With different programmes that Channel 4 have put on as well, disability has been shown in a really positive way. That really helps – the profile of disabled people in general, not just parasport has grown.

i Follow Libby on Twitter, @LibbyClegg, and find out more about getting involved in athletics at

PIC: © Getty Images | Enable - The Road to Rio

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The athletes

When he stood on an IED while serving with the army in Afghanistan and lost both his legs, Musselburgh man Micky Yule had no idea he’d end up representing his country at the Paralympics just four years later. Micky tells us all about his hopes for his first Games, where he’ll be competing in powerlifting

How did you get into powerlifting in the first place? I used to do powerlifting when I was in the army. I had just started getting into it when I got injured in Afghanistan. When I started going through all my rehab and trying to get fit again, I found out that you could do Paralympic powerlifting, and from that minute I knew – because I really didn’t know much about Paralympic sport – that was the only sport I wanted to do.

After I was injured, I thought, ‘What are you going to do?’ I didn’t want to get worked up about why things were bad for me. Some of my mates died in Afghanistan, so why am I going to whinge? When you go to all these big competitions, you get nervous, you get excited, you feel a bit of pressure, but that pressure is nothing compared to what you face in Afghanistan when someone’s trying to shoot you. I’ve felt bigger pressure!

What role did sport play in your rehab after you were injured?

When did you realise you could take powerlifting to the next level?

I actually ended up cutting my rehab short to continue powerlifting. On the build up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, I needed to be training full-time, but I still wasn’t really fit enough to stop all the phsyio I was doing. Luckily, I had a decent consultant, I got an early discharge from the army and cut my rehab short and just concentrated on powerlifting.

I went to the British championships, won my weight category, and we realised that qualifying for the Commonwealth Games might be possible. That was our first goal. Once we qualified, it changed to, ‘Let’s see if we can medal.’ Then I ended up in the British team. It all moved really quickly.

Has it helped mentally? 28

You won gold at the Invictus Games in Florida earlier this year. Has that got you excited for Rio?

PIC: © onEdition

MICky yule

The Invictus Games was brilliant. It was a massive event. We really used it as a trial for Rio. It’s a similar time difference, a similar temperature, I had loads of media commitments. I managed to lift 190kg there. In Rio, I’ll be in a lighter category, but if I can hit 190 I’ll be in the mix for a medal.

What’s been the proudest moment of your sports career so far? Probably winning the European championships. They didn’t see me as a threat, but I knew they should. I went up and smashed them in one go!

i Micky is an ambassador for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, which supports former soldiers from the British army when they are most in need. Find out more about what they do, and support their work, at

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Working with every Regiment & Corps of the British Army. To donate or to find out how you can support our Charity, visit ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is a registered charity in England and Wales (1146420) and Scotland (039189). Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales (07974609). Registered Office: Mountbarrow House, 6-20 Elizabeth Street London SW1W 9RB Tel: 020 7901 8900, Email:

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MEET THE SUPPORTERS In order to get to Rio, the ParalympicsGB squad require a lot of support – practical, emotional and, of course, financial. None of it would be possible without the British Paralympic Association’s official supporters. Here, the big name corporations who give their backing to our incredible athletes tell us why they’re behind the BPA every step of the way

“EDF Energy partnered with the British Paralympic Association for London 2012 and we’re very pleased to continue this partnership. We are inspired by their phenomenal achievements and that’s why we are so proud to support the ParalympicsGB team.” – Janet Hogben, Chief People Officer, EDF Energy “Our long standing partnership with the BPA has seen us join together for some huge moments in British sport. With the Rio Paralympics around the corner we’re excited to see the next generation of GB athletes perform on the world stage.” – Barry Moore, UK Brand Director, adidas “As Official Legal Services Provider to the BPA, we’re supporting all members of the ParalympicsGB team in their quest for gold, including Hogan Lovells Paralympic Ambassador Ollie Hynd and our scholarship recipient Sophie Hahn.” – Nicholas Cheffings, Chair of Hogan Lovells “Working closely with the British Paralympic Association is having a big impact throughout our business. It gives the Allianz brand a partnership with a strong British team, one that inspires us to become a genuinely inclusive business” – David Radford, Chief Marketing Officer, Allianz

“Our partnership with ParalympicsGB allows us not only to support our fantastic team ahead of the Games, but also to open up the world of Paralympic sport to wider audiences – our Active Kids Paralympic Challenge has provided the opportunity for 2.5 million children to engage in inclusive sport.” – Pete Ward, Sponsorship Manager, Sainsbury’s “Courage, excellence and respect are all crucial to high performance in our industry. Athletes naturally embody these values, and at BP we are very proud to support a number of athletes as part of our partnership with the International Paralympic Committee, ParalympicsGB and the Paralympic movement more broadly.” – Duncan Blake, Director of Brand, BP

“Mondeléz International is a proud partner of ParalympicsGB and through our partnership, we are inspiring our colleagues, consumers and local communities to support disability sport and create a better world for disabled people.” – Kelly Farrell, Community Affairs Manager, Mondeléz International “Deloitte are extremely proud to be a longstanding partner of the British Paralympic Association, supporting disability sport for almost a decade. As an organisation, we place great importance on respect, inclusion and the impact we have on the communities in which we operate.” – Simon Wakefield, sponsoring partner for Deloitte Ride Across Britain

“BT is a long-term supporter of disability sport in the UK and a leading organisation in inclusion and diversity as well as the founding partner of the British Paralympic Association. Everyone at BT will be rooting for our Paralympic track and field ambassadors. They do a great job representing some of the best of British sporting achievement.” – BT “Nissan UK share in the British Paralympic Association’s wider charitable vision to challenge perceptions through sporting achievement and inspire a better world for disabled people. Nissan are delighted to be supporting the team by raising funds for the BPA, helping it become the strongest it can be in Rio and beyond.” – Nissan | Enable - The Road to Rio

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PiCS THROUGHOUT: ©onEdition/ParalympicsGB unless otherwise stated

The sports

TAKE AIM: John Stubbs MBE is ready to fire ahead of Rio


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The sports


THE EVENT GUIDE The ultimate companion to the 22 different sports on offer at Rio 2016

a Archery Move over Robin Hood – Paralympics GB’s archery team are your new arrow idols. Archery combines accuracy and concentration to make one of the most gripping (and popular) parasports. It first became part of the Paralympic games in 1960 and is now practised in more than 54 countries worldwide. It sees both female and male competitors with physical impairments shooting at a 122cm target set at a distance of 70m. Competitors are grouped into three classifications for competition – standing, and two wheelchair categories: Wheelchair One (W1) for athletes with an impairment in all four limbs; and Wheelchair Two (W2), which includes archers with limited

mobility in their lower limbs. Archers with a visual impairment or learning disability are not currently included in the programme, but may be by Tokyo in 2020. In 2012 we saw gold when British star Danielle Brown defended her Beijing title and defeated her fellow ParalympicsGB team mate Mel Clarke in a closely fought contest by 6 points to 4. While she won’t be returning to the team, 50-year-old Beijing gold medallist John Stubbs will be back for a third time and has high hopes of collecting his second gold medal. The Team: John Cavanagh, Jo Frith, Jodie Grinham, Mikey Hall, Nathan Macqueen, Tania Nadarajah, David Phillips, Jess Stretton, John Stubbs, John Walker, Vicky Jenkins. | Enable - The Road to Rio

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The sports pAthletics


The athletics are perhaps the focal point of any Olympic or Paralympic event. It’s the test of who can run the fastest, jump the highest, throw the furthest, leap the furthest and it’s right at the heart of the Games.

The events At the Paralympics, the athletics hand out the most medals – 141 this year, 47 of which will be gold. The athletics are made up of two different types of event – track and field. The track events are: • 100m • 200m • 400m • 800m • 1,500m • 5,000m • 10,000m • 110m hurdles • 400m hurdles • 3,000m steeplechase • 4x100m relay • 4x400m relay • Pole vault • Long jump • Triple jump

THE WEIRWOLF: Wheelchair racer David Weir scooped gold in 2012 - and it set for success again in Rio


And on the field side of things, you have: • Discus throw • Hammer throw • Javelin • Shot put • Decathlon for men • Heptathlon for women It’ll all be kicking off at the Olympic Stadium, Fort Copacabana, the brand new centre of the Games.

Classifications Each sport is made up of different classifications – anything beginning with a T is a track event, and F events are field. There are 10 different impairment types for athletics – eight physical impairments, as well as visual impairment and intellectual impairment. Physical impairments include impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, ataxia (lack of muscle coordination), athetosis (repetitive and more or less continual involuntary movements), hypertonia (increase in muscle tension), short stature and leg length difference. For track sports, there are 16 different classes for running and jumping, going from T11-13 (visual impairment) to T45-46 (upper limb difference), while there are


BOCCIA BEST: Kieran Steer takes aim

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The sports Aled Davies, Kyron Duke, Sabrina Fortune, Toby Gold, Dan Greaves, Kylie Grimes, Sophie Hahn, David Henson, Georgina Hermitage, Jordan Howe, Abbie Hunnisett, Bev Jones, Jade Jones, Mo Jomni, Rhys Jones, Sophie Kamlish, Samantha Kinghorn, Simon Lawson, Maria Lyle, Nathan McGuire, Polly Maton, Stephen Miller, Steve Morris, Holly Neill, Mel Nicholls, Stephen Osborne, Jonnie Peacock, Gemma Prescott, Derek Rae, Stef Reid, Julie Rogers, Ben Rowlings, Sam Ruddock, Andrew Small, Laura Sugar, Carly Tait, Isaac Towers, Kieran Tscherniawsky, David Weir, Richard Whitehead.

i Boccia seven classes for wheelchair racing, T3234 (coordination impairments) and T51-54 (limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement). For the field events, there are 15 classes for standing throws, starting at F11-13 (visual impairment), through F40-41 (short stature) and F45-46 (upper limb impairment), and 11 seated throws – F3134 (coordination impairments) and F51-57 (limb deficiency). For each sport, athletes are assessed and categorised according to their impairment to make sure they’re competing against people with similar capabilities to themselves, keeping things as fair as possible.

The best bits The athletics are often at the centre of the Games, and it’s where some of ParalympicsGB’s most memorable medal moments have taken place. Who can forget David Weir scooping four gold medals at the Olympic Park, Richard Whitehead’s world record breaking gold in the T42 200m or Hannah Cockroft scooping two golds in the T34 100m and 200m? In 2012, we won a total of 29 medals in the athletics – and this year looks set to be just as fruitful for the men and women of the athletics squad. Just look at some of the names who have made it… THE TEAM: Kare Adenegan, Hollie Arnold, Graeme Ballard, Dan Bramall, Paul Blake, Olivia Breen, Jonathan Broom-Edwards, Mickey Bushell, Joanna Butterfield, Richard Chiassaro, Libby Clegg (with guide Chris Clarke), Hannah Cockroft, Kadeena Cox, Vanessa Daobry,

Boccia – rhymes with “gotcha” – is a tactical target sport played by wheelchair athletes with cerebral palsy and other conditions. It’s a Paralympic exclusive sport that sees men and women compete together in teams, pairs and individual events. Their aim? To throw a set of coloured balls as close as possible to the white target ball known as the jack. It shares a few similarities with chess and bowls thanks to its strategic elements. It’s all very sophisticated, which is exactly what you’d expect from a sport that has roots in an ancient Greek game played in Italy during the 16th century. But don’t be fooled – at this level the game is a brutal

head-to-head. You’ll be gripped as you watch each athlete trying to outsmart the other with one swift throw of a soft leather ball. Participants are grouped in four classifications: • BC1 is for athletes with cerebral palsy who play with the help of an aide who places the ball in their hands. • BC2 includes athletes with cerebral palsy who have a lower level of impairment compared to BC1 athletes and who don’t need assistance. • BC3 athletes have the highest level of impairment and cannot grasp or release the ball. They use a ramp to project the ball and play with an assistant. • BC4 is for players who do not have cerebral palsy but have a similar functional ability to BC1 and BC2 athletes. These athletes don’t use an aide. The Team: (BC1) David Smith, (BC2) Nigel Murray, (BC2) Joshua Rowe, (BC2) Claire Taggart, (BC3) Patrick Wilson, (BC3) Jamie McCowan, (BC3) Scott McCowan, (BC4) Stephen McGuire, (BC4) Kieran Steer and (BC4) Evie Edwards.


Cycling The British team took home an impressive haul of 22 medals in cycling events at London 2012, eight of them gold. In the road cycling event at Rio 2016, athletes will face an extreme test of endurance and

WHEELY GOOD: Sarah Storey is a Paralympic legend, with 10 gold medals to her name

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The sports strength within the road events, amid the incredible Brazilian scenery. Cycling in the intense heat adds an extra dimension of difficulty to the sport. The road event will take place in Rio de Janeiro’s largest public park, Flamengo Park. The track event was introduced to the Paralympics Games in Atlanta ‘96, more than a decade after road cycling was introduced. Improvements in technology have made the sport more inclusive and have also upped the ante in terms of competition, allowing athletes to really push themselves to the limits of their fitness. Visually impaired track cyclists ride tandem with a guide, while those with cerebral palsy, reduced motion range or an impairment that affects coordination cycle on adapted bikes. Amputees are able to cycle using adapted prosthetics that hold the handlebars, for example, and there are different adaptations available that READY TO RIDE: Equestrian star Sophie Christiansen has help with brake activation and gearboxes. five gold medals to her name Track cycling includes events for men, women and teams. three silver medals at London 2012 and For ParalympicsGB, 13 riders and four appeared on reality TV show The Jump, pilots will compete at Rio. The squad will also compete in Rio. includes Dame Sarah Storey, who The track cycling events will has racked up an impressive take place at the Rio Olympic amount of medals throughout Velodrome, at Barra Olympic her career and is now GB’s The Netherlands have the most successful Park. Brazil has, in the most decorated female Paralympic football history of the Paralympic Paralympian with 10 gold, 7-a-side nation ever – they Games, failed to take home 13 silver and three bronze. won all three golds any medals in the cycling Jody Cundy, David Stone between 1988 and events – track or road. By and Neil Fachie are also 1996. comparison, in the last two part of the team. Jody is a Games, Britain has taken home 25 Paralympic veteran with five gold medals of the 44 cycling medals Games under his belt, while this will overall. be Stone and Fachie’s third Paralympics. THE TEAM: Stephen Bate, Sophie Jon Allan-Butterworth, who won


u THE BEAUTIFUL GAME: David Porcher (centre) will be part of the 7-a-side squad

Thornhill, Pete Mitchell, Neil Fachie MBE, Megan Giglia, Lora Turnham, Karen Drake, Jon-Allan Butterworth, Jody Cundy MBE, Helen Scott, Hannah Dines, David Stone MBE, Dame Sarah Storey DBE, Corrine Hall, Adam Duggleby, Kadeena Cox, Louis Rolfe.


Equestrian The equestrian output had the country fascinated during London 2012, and the British squad are set to pull off even more mesmerising displays this summer in Rio! In the Paralympic strand, dressage is the only equestrian event. Men and women compete against each other in this skilled ‘horse dancing’ display, where riders ask their horses to perform a series of movements and freestyle routines choreographed to music. Sound bizarre? It is a bit – but the bond between rider and horse is something to be seen, and you’ll be amazed by what these magnificent creatures can pull off! Riders are given a classification based on the type and extent of their disability. There are four grades across five categories (Ia and Ib, II, III and IV). The grading dictates what movements the rider must include in their routine. Riders might have assistive devices like dressage whips, connecting rein bars and looped reins. Visually impaired riders are allowed to use ‘callers’ to help them around the arena. The British team are currently the top ranked in the world – Lee Pearson has nine Paralympic gold medals to his name! | Enable - The Road to Rio

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The sports FACT

In 2012, our team took away five golds, five silver and one bronze medal. Can they match that at this summer’s event? THE TEAM: Natasha Baker, Sophie Christiansen, Lee Pearson, Sophie Wells, Anne Dunham.

Goalball supporters are totally unique sporting fans – namely because they have to stay completely silent during play so that the players can hear the ball. They are are still allowed to clap when a goal is scored though!

Football 5-a-side At the Paralympics, 5-a-side football is played by visually impaired athletes. The ball has a bell inside it to help players identify its whereabouts, and all players wear eye masks to create a level playing field. Five-a-side was first introduced to the Games at Athens in 2004. This year, eight men’s teams will be battling for gold on the pitch – and, sadly, Great Britain won’t be one of them. The rules are the same as your regular 5-a-side match – it’s all about who scores the most goals. Players are guided by their coach, guide and goalkeeper (who aren’t visually impaired). Brazil have won gold every time 5-a-side has made an outing at the Paralympics – in 2004, 2008 and 2012. So will the support of the home crowd spur them on to golden glory again? Time will tell…

PIC: Courtesy of Goalball UK



IN TRAINING: The GB goalball team didn’t qualify for Rio, but are currently working on their game ahead of the European B Championships.


Football 7-a-side Where would sport lovers be without a football event? Us footie-fans can’t wait to wail and chant our support for ParalympicsGB’s football 7-a-side team when they compete at Rio 2016. The lineup comprises of players from the English, Scottish and Northern Irish teams, and all but two of the team are making their Paralympic debut; just former Everton FC Academy player Michael Barker and Scottish veteran Jonathan Paterson return from London, both competing in their third Games. The rules are the same as in the nondisabled game, however the pitch is slightly smaller, there is no offside rule, and throw-ins can only be made using one hand. Matches are played in two halves of 30 minutes each and includes athletes with cerebral palsy or brain injuries. THE TEAM: Jack Rutter, Sean Highdale, Emyle Rudder, Matt Crossen, Ollie Nugent, Giles Moore, Ryan Kay, Michael Barker, Liam Irons, Martin Hickman, David Porcher, James Blackwell, Jonathan Paterson, David Leavy.


Goalball This team sport is one of the few events that has no Olympic equivalent – that’s because goalball was developed entirely for athletes with visual impairments. The



HOLD ON: Judo hopefuls Chris Skelley (in blue) and Jonathan Drane in training

sport was invented in Europe in 1946 by Austrian Hanz Lorenzen and German Sepp Reindle as a form of rehabilitation for veterans blinded during World War II. Thirty years later it became an official Paralympic sport and is now played competitively in more than 100 countries. Both males and females can compete in this powerful, dynamic game that aims to tests players’ quick reactions, strength, coordination, agility and strategy. The objective is to throw a rubber ball with a bell inside it (so the players can hear it) into an opponent’s goal while defending your own. Games last 12 minutes each

side and the objective is for each team to score as many goals as possible. To level the playing field, all players wear blackout masks and rely solely on sound and touch (the court is tactile) to help position themselves around the court. Only 12 men’s and ten women’s teams can qualify for the Games so competition is fierce, particularly amongst European countries. Unfortunately GB’s men and women teams were not successful and instead are busy preparing for the European B Championships, which are taking place in Portugal in October before beginning their road to Tokyo. In

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The sports 2012 Finland and Japan came top on the medal tables, with Sweden, China, Brazil and Turkey also winning big. This year, our money is on Lithuania. Their star player, Genrik Pavliukianec, is considered the world’s best goalball player and is guaranteed to be the name we’ll all be chanting during the Paralympic Games.


Judo Judo at the Paralympics is open only to visually impaired athletes. The aim of the game is to try throw your opponent onto the ground with their back on the floor, and hold them there for 20 seconds or force them to submit. It’s a fast-paced sport which is over pretty quickly, but takes lots of skill, strength and stamina – everything can change in a second! The sport made its Paralympic debut in Seoul in 1988, and has since gone on to become a firm favourite with sports fans. In Rio, the event will be held at the brand new Carioca Arena 3, which is going to be transformed into a specialist sports school after the Games, which will take on 850 full-time students. In Rio, there will be seven weight categories for men and six for women. Brazil’s Antônio Tenório currently holds the most medals for judo – four gold and one bronze – but this year’s GB squad have high hopes. THE TEAM: Jonathan Drane, Jack Hodgson, Chris Skelley, Sam Ingram.

career as a swimmer – competing in five Games in a row, between Seoul ‘88 and Atlanta ‘96. She is joined by Emma Wiggs and Nick Beighton, both of whom competed in London 2012 in sitting volleyball and rowing respectively. THE TEAM: Nicholas Beighton, Jeanette Chippington, Anne Dickins, Ian Marsden, Rob Oliver, Emma Wiggs.

much more competitive and dramatic. It’s open to athletes with an impairment in their lower limbs or hips which would stop them from participating in ablebodied weightlifting – so, for instance, they might have a double amputation or stiffness in their knees. All athletes compete in one sport class, but in different weight categories. THE TEAM: Micky Yule, Zoe Iran’s Siamand Newson, Ali Jawad, Natalie Rahman became Blake. the strongest man in



Powerlifting Think you’re strong? You Paralympic history at the 2012 Games, when he haven’t got anything on Rowing lifted a massive 280kg these guys! Powerlifting This adrenaline-fuelled in the 100kg+ has been part of the watersport is a relative newbie category. Paralympics since 1964, to the Paralympic Games linewith women joining in 2000 at up, having only been introduced to the Sydney Games. This year, there the Games in Beijing 2008. Competition will be men and women competing in 10 equipment is modified within Paralympic different weight categories. rowing to allow disabled rowers to This is a test of upper body strength, compete. Rather than the Olympic with athletes competing to lift the heaviest distance of 2,000m, Paralympic athletes weight from a lying-down position – just row half the distance at 1,000m. like weight lifting at your local gym, only Depending on the event, each boat


PADDLE ON: GB’s Emma Wiggs in action


Para-canoe The canoe sprint is a fast-paced watersport that made its Olympic debut at the Berlin Games way back in 1936. Despite 80 years as a much-loved Olympic sport, the sprint has yet to make its debut at the Paralympics. In September 2016, history will be made as Paralympic athletes slip inside their kayaks to compete against each other on the world stage (or rather, world lake) in the Paralympic version of the sport: para-canoe. It took two years of diligent campaigning for the sport to be accepted by the Paras in 2010. Taking place at the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freita, the canoe sprint will feature six medal events, three for women and three for men, during the course of Rio 2016. Athletes must kayak a 200 metre straight course and the first to cross the end line is the winner. Although para-canoe is a new Paralympic sport for 2016, the GB team is not short of experienced Paralympians. Jeanette Chippington returns to the Games to compete in para-canoe after a successful

l x HEAVYWEIGHTS: The complete GB powerlifting team (l-r) - Micky Yule, Zoe Newsom, Natalie Blake and Ali Jawad. | Enable - The Road to Rio

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The sports is manned by one, two or four rowers. People with a variety of disabilities can take part in three separate classes of Paralympic rowing. Those with trunk and leg impairments compete individually in class AS, while class TA consists of a mixed-gender team of two rowers who have mobility in their trunks and arms. LTA is for a four-member boat, usually comprised of two men and two women per team (plus cox) who have functional use of their legs, trunks and arms for rowing. LTA can include up to two visually impaired athletes per boat, and the cox need not be impaired in any way – in keeping with the rules of Paralympic athletics. The event will take place on the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, near the Lagoa Stadium. THE TEAM: Tom Aggar, Rachel Morris, Laurence Whiteley, Lauren Rowles, Grace Clough, Daniel Brown, Pam Relph, James Fox, Oliver James.


ROW YOUR BOAT: The GB rowing team are preparing to make waves


Sailing Sailing was demonstrated as a Paralympic sport in Atlanta ‘96, but became a medal sport in the Sydney 2000 Games. Athletes with any form of physical disability are able to compete, though the classification divides athletes depending on impairment. Mobility, vision, hand function and stability are all assessed through the classification system and the sport has three events at the games. None of the events are gender-specific and athletes can compete individually in single person keelboats or in teams in three-person and two-person keelboats. Brit athlete Helena Lucas was the only female athlete who competed in the 2.4mR [individual keelboat] event at London 2012 and beat all of her 15 opponents to the gold medal. Helena was the first athlete to be selected to sail in the Rio 2016 squad for Great Britain. THE TEAM: Helena Lucas MBE, Niki Birrell, Alexandra Rickman, Hannah Stodel, John Robertson, Stephen Thomas.


Shooting First appearing in the Paralympic Games in 1976, shooting is the ultimate test of accuracy and control. Competitors use pistols or rifles to fire a series of shots at a stationary target. Each shot is worth a maximum score of 10. Shooting has two classification groups: SH1 shooters usually have a lower limb disability and shoot a rifle or pistol without assistance while SH2 shooters have an


SET SAIL: The Paralympic sailing team are set for big things

ON TARGET: Karen Butler already has four Paralympic appearances under her belt


upper limb disability so use a shooting stand to support a rifle. There are a total of 12 Paralympic events; three men’s, three women’s, and six mixed, which include eight rifle and four pistol events. And it truly is a sport for everybody – you don’t need rippling muscles or youth on your side, just a calm hand and unwavering determination. And that’s

something our Paralympic Brits have by the bucketload. British shooters have won medals in every Paralympic Games since 1976, including three at the London Olympics. In 2012, GB won one silver and two bronze medals, and shot three equal world records. Rifle shooters Ryan Cockbill, Richard Davies and Ben Jesson return to the Games and plan to rock the medal table once more. Meanwhile newbies Issy Bailey, Owen Burke, Lorraine Lambert and Stewart Nangle are all shooting to impress at their Paralympic debut in Rio. THE TEAM: Issy Bailey, Matt Skelhon, Stewart Nangle, Lorraine Lambert, Richard Davies, Ben Jesson, Ryan Cockbill, Karen Butler, Owen Burke, James Bevis.


Sitting volleyball Sitting volleyball first started in the Netherlands in the 1950s as a combination of volleyball and a German game called | Enable - The Road to Rio

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The sports

v PIC: Courtesy of Sport England

Not every event is open to swimmers of all classifications, but it’s the second largest event at the Games after the athletics – there will be 152 events taking place between 8 and 17 September, with 600 swimmers competing from around the world. THE TEAM: Jessica-Jane Applegate MBE, Jonathan Booth, Claire Cashmore, Stephen Clegg, Josef Craig, James Crisp, Ryan Crouch, Bethany Firth, Jonathan Fox, Tom Hamer, Charlotte Henshaw, Ollie Hynd MBE, Michael Jones, Abby Kane, Sascha Kindred OBE, Harriet Lee, Amy Marren, Stephanie Millward, Aaron Moores, Andrew Mullen, Scott Quin, Rebecca Redfern, Ellie Robinson, Susie Rodgers, Hannah Russell, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Stephanie Slater, Alice Tai, Lewis White, Matt Wylie.

ON THE BALL: Britain won’t be represented in sitting volleyball in Rio - but the team are already training for next time

Sitzbal. Nowadays it’s played by athletes in more than 50 countries worldwide. And the game is a thrilling one to watch – thanks to the low nets and smaller courts, sitting volleyball is a whole lot faster than its standing counterpart. The quick and powerful game comprises of two teams of six battling it out to land the ball in the opposition’s half of the court. It’s open to athletes of all impairments and there are two categories of classification: disabled and minimal disability. A maximum of one minimally disabled player may be on the court for each team at one time. Each team is allowed three touches of the ball before it must cross back over the net. Athletes are allowed to kick or head the ball, but players must have at least one buttock or an extension of the torso in contact with the floor at all times. The match is made up of five sets, and a set is awarded to the first team to reach 25 points. In the event of a 24-24 tie, there must be a clear two-point lead over the opposing team to win. While GB haven’t qualified for Rio, they’ve had plenty to celebrate this year. Current women’s GB sitting volleyball captain Martine Wright was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours list for services to the sport. Martine lost her legs as a result of injuries in the 7/7 terrorist bombings but went on play seated volleyball and become one of Britain’s most admired athletes.


Swimming Swimming is one of ParalympicsGB’s most successful sports – and the team is huge! We’re sending 30 swimmers along to the Games this summer, and we’ve



Table tennis Table tennis has been a part of the Games since 1960 in Rome. Following the same rules a the Olympic edition, players have to bat the ball over the net to the opponent’s side, and get a point if they fail to return it. Sounds easy? Think again! Table tennis is so much more than a hobby sport – it’s a fast-paced game which takes accuracy and The events skill, and is thrilling to watch. There are lots of different events that Open to men and women, table tennis come under the swimming umbrella, with is one of the most inclusive sports on different distances and styles. The events offer at the Games, with 11 classifications include: including one for athletes with a learning • Freestyle (50m, 100m, 200m, 400m) disability (class 11). Athletes in classes one • Backstroke (50m, 100m) to five compete in a wheelchair while six • Butterfly (50m, 100m) to 10 compete standing up. In Rio, the • Breaststroke (50m, 100m) table tennis team will be competing at the • Individual medley (150m, 200m) Riocentro – pavilion 3, which will have • 4x100m freestyle relay eight tables on the go at any one time. • 4x100m medley relay THE TEAM: Will Bayley, Sue Gilroy MBE, • 4x50m freestyle relay Sara Head, Ross Wilson, Rob Davies, The Rio swimming events will take Paul Karabardak, Paul Davies, place at the Rio Olympic Aquatics Kim Daybell, Jane Campbell, Stadium, a temporary structure Jack Hunter-Spivey, David which is going to be Table tennis appeared Wetherill, Aaron McKibbin. demolished after the Games. got some of the best in the world among them. Swimming has been a part of the Games since the first event took place in Rome in 1960, open only to athletes with spinal injuries. These days, it’s open to athletes with physical, visual and learning impairments.


in the Paralympic Games before the Olympics – it The categories Triathlon was part of the Paralympic Within each event, there’s New for 2016, the triathlon schedule from 1960 onwards, but didn’t become an a number of different will see men and women Olympic sport until categories – events push themselves to the limit 1988. prefixed S stand for freestyle, as they run, swim and cycle


butterfly and backstroke, SB for breaststroke and SM for those in the individual medley. Athletes are then categorised by impairment, with S/SB1-10 denoting physical impairment (a lower number indicates a more severe limitation), S/SB11-13 for athletes with a visual impairment and S/SB14 for swimmers with learning disabilities.

towards the finish line. The triathlon is made up of a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run – it’s the ultimate test of fitness, endurance, strength and stamina, and everything can change in an instant. At the Paralympics, both men and women will compete at Fort Copacabana. Athletes may use a hand cycle, tandem

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Cyclist Dame Sarah Storey is a former swimmer – she won five gold, eight silver and three bronze medals during her swimming career from 1992 to 1996 before switching to track cycling.

The sports

r WATER CREW: The swimming team are on track for an impressive medal haul


TOP TABLE: Swansea’s Paul Karabardak has his eye on gold | Enable - The Road to Rio

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The sports

TRI-ING HARD: Joe Townsend is one of the first athletes to represent GB in the paratriathlon

cycle or bicycle in the cycling portion and wheelchairs are allowed for the running portion of the course. There are five different classifications – PT1 for those using racing wheelchairs, PT2-4 for those running with or without support of assistive devices, and PT5 for those running with a guide – but at the Games, men will compete in three different classes (PT1, PT2 and PT4) and women will also compete in three (PT2, PT4 and PT5). You might see some ‘handlers’ at the Paralympics too – people who help triathletes go from the swimming area to the next stage. THE TEAM: Joe Townsend, Phil Hogg, Andy Lewis, Ryan Taylor, David Hill, George Peasgood, Lauren Steadman, Faye McClelland, Claire Cunningham, Alison Patrick (guide Hazel Smith), Melissa Reid (guide Nicole Waters).


Wheelchair basketball Wheelchair basketball was first born in the US in the 1940s, as a way to recuperate injured servicemen returning from World War II. Many of the veterans had played basketball before the war and were determined to return to their sport after becoming disabled, so began looking at ways to adapt the rules to suit wheelchair-using players. The adaptation of this popular able-bodied sport is now played across the world, and has evolved to

SLAM DUNK: Simon Munn is headed for his fifth Games

b become a competitive fixture at the Games. It wasn’t just the Americans who were interested in wheelchair basketball in the 40s and 50s – the English were playing wheelchair netball, an earlier version of the game, at Stoke Mandeville’s Spinal Rehabilitation Hospital around the same time as wheelchair basketball was taking off in the States. Wheelchair basketball came to Stoke Mandeville for the Stoke Mandeville Games – the sporting event that preceded the first ever Paralympics – where it was absorbed as part of the Paralympic movement. Wheelchair basketball went on to be

part of the very first Paralympic Games in Rome 1960 and has been a Paralympic event ever since. Wheelchair basketball at the Paras shares court size, basket height and match time with the Olympic version of the event, but the inclusion of wheelchairs means size specifications need to be checked by referees at the start of the match – including chair wheel diameters and seat heights – to ensure equality between players. After every two chair pushes the player holding the ball must bounce, shoot or pass to avoid fouling. There are five players per team in | Enable - The Road to Rio

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The sports wheelchair basketball, and the wheelchair is considered ‘part of the player’, meaning that any inappropriate contact with another player’s chair could lead to a foul. Paralympic basketball matches will take place at Rio Olympic Arena at Barra Olympic Park. In 2016, 12 men’s and 10 women’s teams will battle for medals at the arena. The British teams had little luck in London 2012, with the women’s squad leaving the competition in the quarter finals when they were defeated by Germany. The men’s team got a little further, into the semi-finals, but were knocked out by Canada. THE TEAM: Men: Ade Orogbemi, Lee Manning, Gregg Warburton, Ian Sagar, Phil Pratt, Abdi Jama, Harry Brown, Simon Munn, Terry Bywater, Kyle Marsh, Simon Brown, Gaz Choudhry. Women: Laurie Williams, Katie Morrow, Charlotte Moore, Robyn Love, Jude Hamer, Joy Haizelden, Clare Griffiths, Helen Freeman, Leah Evans, Amy Conroy, Sophie Carrigill, Jordanna Bartlett.

EN GARDE: Dimitri Coutya and Piers Gilliver make up the fencing contingent

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Wheelchair Fencing Another sport to come out of Stoke Mandeville Hospital’s rehab unit is wheelchair fencing. The sport allows athletes with cerebral palsy, amputations and spinal injuries to compete in three different events: foil, epée and saber. These names all refer to the weapons used within the event, the same range available to Olympic athletes. During the fencing events, wheelchairs are fastened to the floor, restricting the athletes to use only their upper limbs. Athletes must undergo testing to determine their category, assessing their dorsal, lumbar and lateral movements as well as their ability to bend and balance while holding their weapon. Despite being a British-born sport, the ParalympicsGB team haven’t been doing too well in fencing events in recent years. In fact, it’s been 28 years since Britain picked up a medal of any metal within the sport. Prior to that, Caz Walton won gold in epée at Seoul 1988 – one of 10 of Caz’s Paralympic golds. While Britain has been getting worse at fencing, Brazil has been getting better. London 2012 saw Brazil’s first gold in the sport from Jovane Guissone in the men’s B sword category. There will be 10 individual and four team events within Rio 2016, with 88 fencers competing across them all. THE TEAM: Piers Gilliver, Dimitri Coutya.


ON THE BALL: Wheelchair rugby’s Chris Ryan is ready to roll


Wheelchair rugby 40 seconds to try score by carrying the ball over the opponent’s goal line, Also known as ‘murderball’, and the player in possession of wheelchair rugby isn’t for the Since wheelchair the ball must dribble or pass faint hearted! This is a unique rugby became a part of the ball at least once every 10 sport, combining elements the Paralympic programme, seconds – if they don’t, they’ll of basketball, handball only the USA, Australia, lose possession. Each game is and rugby to create a fast, Canada and New Zealand made up of four eight-minute furious, full-contact sport have won medals out of quarters, so it’s quite short – that’s captured the hearts of the 12 awarded. but its quick nature is all part of sports fans around the world. the fun! The sport was created back THE TEAM: Alan Ash, Ryan Cowling, in 1976 by a group of five wheelchair Bulbul Hussain, Jonathan Coggan, athletes in Winnipeg, Canada, who Mandip Sehmi, Jim Roberts, Ayaz Bhuta, were after an alternative to wheelchair Coral Batey, Jamie Stead, Mike Kerr, basketball. It didn’t make its debut until Gavin Walker, Chris Ryan. Sydney 2000, but it’s become a firm favourite in the Paralympic programme since. Wheelchair tennis Wheelchair rugby is played on a If you didn’t get hooked on wheelchair standard volleyball or basketball court, tennis during Wimbledon – where were with teams made up of up to 12 players, you? both men and women, with only four British tennis hero Gordon Reid made on the court at a time. Each athlete is wheelchair tennis history twice in 24 classified individually, ranging from 0.5 hours after he and doubles partner (the lowest function level) to 3.5 (the Alfie Hewett won the Wimbledon men’s highest), and the total classification of the doubles final before he went on to nab the team on court can’t exceed eight points. wheelchair men’s singles final. Luckily When the team gets the ball, they have you’ll have a second chance to watch Reid



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The sports


Wheelchair tennis is perfect for everybody – the sport integrates very easily with the able-bodied game because it is played on a regular tennis court with no modification to the racket, balls or court size.

z rule the courts when matches kick off at the Games in Rio. Whether you’re a tennis fan or not, you will love this version of the sport and be amazed by the players’ incredible strength and agility. Wheelchair tennis shares more with the able-bodied game than you’d think – the court size is the same, as are

ACE GAME: Lucy Shuker won bronze in 2012

all the rules. The only difference is that wheelchair tennis players are allowed two bounces of the ball, so long as the first is inside the court markings. There are three competitive categories; men, ladies, and quads and each category has singles and doubles tournaments. Quads (sometimes called mixed) is the

division for those with quadriplegia where players can hold rackets taped to the hand and use electric-powered wheelchairs. THE TEAM: Men: Gordon Reid, Alfie Hewett, Marc McCarroll, David Phillipson. Ladies: Jordanne Whiley, Lucy Shuker, Louise Hunt. Quads: Andy Lapthorne, Jamie Burdekin, Antony Cotterill. | Enable - The Road to Rio

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THE CLASSIFICATIONS Disability can be so wide and varied that it makes sense that each sport at the Games is split into different classes – so exactly how does it work? Check out our overview

IN THE BEGINNING, the Paralympics catered solely for people with spinal cord injuries, mostly those from a military background. Today, however, people with a wide range of disabilities come together to compete. From amputees to people with cerebral palsy, those with restricted growth to people with learning disabilities, the Paralympics are more inclusive than ever.

THE RULES But it wouldn’t be terribly fair to have someone competing alongside those who perhaps have a less severe impairment – which is why all the sports in the Games are split into different classes where competing athletes are graded by their level of impairment.


Not every sport is open to individuals of all abilities – and some sports have more classes than others to choose from. There are three broad classifications – physical impairment, visual impairment and intellectual impairment – and each sport is open to either or all of these.

BREAKING DOWN Classifications are broken down into different categories, generally denoted by either a letter or a number, or both. In athletics, for instance, athletes are either T for track or F for field, followed by a number which denotes their ability – 11-13 for visual impairment, 20 for athletes with a learning disability, 31-38 for athletes with cerebral palsy, with those from 31-34 in a seated position and 35-38 standing, plus other categories including amputees, restricted growth and beyond. In cycling, you’ve got handcycles in H1-4, tricycles in T1-2 and bicycles in C1-5.

LEXI is the brainchild of former Paralympian Giles Long MBE, and breaks down the complex world of Paralympic classification in an easy-to-understand visual way. Channel 4 have been using the LEXI decoder to explain classifications in Paralympic sports since London 2012. It uses four different colours to explain different levels of impairment in each class for different body parts. Green signifies no impairment and red denotes a severe impairment, while yellow means mild and orange moderate. If there’s a space in the figure, that means there’s a missing limb. Channel 4 use it to explain classification in eight out of the different sports: swimming, athletics, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, seven-aside football, cycling and table tennis. LEXI makes it much easier for audiences to understand the athletes’ impairments and get a better grip of the different classifications too. Find out more at



Judo is open to visually impaired athletes only. Team sports like 7-a-side football and wheelchair rugby see their athletes being graded according to impairment and the team’s total cannot exceed a certain number. Goalball is the only sport without a classification system – it’s open to VI athletes only, and all players must wear a black-out mask to create an even playing field... And it goes on for every sport!

i To get a better understanding of how the classification system works for different sports, head to the IPC website at

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The athletes


PIC: © onEdition

Will Bayley won our hearts when he featured on First Dates over the summer. The next time you see him on Channel 4, he plans on winning gold. The table tennis star – who was born with arthrogryposis affecting all four limbs – chats to Kirsty McKenzie about his Rio ambitions

You won a silver medal for table tennis in the 2012 Games – are you feeling more pressure this time around? Not really. Because London was my home Games, there was big expectations even then. There’s probably less pressure now to be honest. I’ve gotten to the final before so I know I can do it again.

How did it feel to get your hands on that silver medal in London?

my grandmother bought me a table tennis table so I could keep playing sport even when I was ill. It was the only sport I could beat my brother when I was that age, so I thought I should continue to do it!

Why do you love it so much? It’s unpredictable, it’s fast, it’s full of spin and speed and it’s just a great sport.

What’s the toughest part?

How did London change things for you?

It’s such an established sport in the Paralympics. There’s something like 2 million Paralympic table tennis players – 10% of players are from China. The number of players is quite remarkable really so it’s difficult because it is such a high standard.

People understood Paralympic sport a lot better. They could see that the performance level was so high and that it wasn’t just about the disability, but about the sport.

Has your training changed in any way in the days and weeks leading up to the Games?

It was such a special occasion; all the training is worth it when you achieve your dream.

When did your career start? I had cancer when I was seven years old, so

If anything, I’m trying not to do so much so I’m feeling fresh for the Games. The hard training has really been done now.

Do you think it’s important for people to get involved in sport? Yeah, it’s massively important. It teaches you so much about yourself. It teaches you about losing and winning, about relationships and friendships. I think it’s one of the most important things that you can do.

If there are any youngsters watching you on TV who feel inspired by your story, is there anything you’d want to tell them? Just go out there and play sport. Get involved and do something you really love. Enjoy it!

i Follow Will on Twitter, @WillBayleytt. Find out more about table tennis at | Enable - The Road to Rio

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The athletes

What are your hopes for Rio? I have been poorly for a massive part of my training plan this year, but it was kept secret until I managed to get back in the pool and prove that I would be able to race. I have no idea what will happen but of course I am hoping for medals – I always am!

What is it like being in the athletes’ village? It’s great in the village – or it was in London, I’m hoping it will be the same. I had no pressure going into London as I wasn’t expecting to make the finals but the public will expect more of me this year.

At the last Paralympics, you were on home turf – will it be an extra challenge to compete so far from home? Yes, it will be a huge challenge. I have never been to Brazil like a lot of the other swimmers have. The pool, the weather and the time zones are all going to be different. My coach isn’t on the team and my family can’t afford to come out. So it’s really scary, but I will do my very best to get on the podium.

How did London help change things for you and other Paralympians? It’s made people more aware of disabilities which is a great thing, but for me it didn’t really change things. I have always loved swimming and I still do the same training hours, train at the same pool, eat the same food, so I am still just me.



At just 15 years old, swimmer JessicaJane Applegate MBE burst onto the scene at London 2012, setting a Paralympic record and winning gold in the S14 200m freestyle – and she was the first Brit with an intellectual disability to win gold at the Games. Despite some setbacks with her health, Jessica-Jane, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is returning to join the ParalympicsGB team in Rio more determined than ever. She tells us about life after London and how it feels to race against the world’s greatest athletes

Jessica-Jane Applegate Do you have any rituals before you start a race?

What has been your favourite moment of your career so far?

I always, always speak to my home coach Alex Pinniger – I don’t care what part of the world I am in or what the time difference is. Just because I’m with someone else for two weeks doesn’t mean that I don’t need him.

It has to be winning gold. London 2012 was so special and nothing will ever come close. Rio will be fantastic but it’ll be very different. I had my family and friends in London and swam in front of 17,500 people. I will probably never swim in front of a crowd like that again!

How does it feel when you are racing? I love racing. I love the adrenaline but I can’t wait to finish the race, and hope I finish in one piece! I feel nervous, scared and sick at big events, but so does everyone else.

i Follow Jessica-Jane on Twitter @jessica_jane96, and find out more about getting involved in swimming at

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