Duncan Mackay
The London 2012 Paralympic Games just got more exciting! The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is proud to see that the next edition of the Summer Games will have Sainsbury’s exclusively sponsoring the Paralympic Games.

With such a well-known British brand supporting the Paralympic Games, this will set new promotional opportunities for Paralympic sport and the Paralympic Movement. It will also leave a powerful legacy across the United Kingdom that will inspire future Paralympic athletes as well as every community with a Sainsbury’s location.

With over 850 stores to help promote the Paralympic Games every day, communities everywhere will learn about our athletes and the sports that are to take place in London.

The chief executive officer of Sainsbury’s, Justin King, said that Sainsbury’s is committed to promoting a healthy, fitter lifestyle across all ages and abilities. This complements the vision of the Paralympic Movement which is to enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.

What I find thrilling is that in the run up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, merchandise will be made available across the United Kingdom. This high awareness will undoubtedly add to the anticipation that has already hit the British capital.

I have already witnessed the campaigning taking place for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and this adds an unprecedented level of excitement. It will be a new experience for the Paralympic community, as they watch everything that they have worked for over the course of many years be promoted in a way that follows the Paralympic values of Courage, Determination, Inspiration and Equality.

As part of our mission, the IPC seeks the continuous global promotion and media coverage of the Paralympic Movement, with its vision of inspiration and excitement through sport, and its ideals and activities. We also support and encourage educational, cultural, research and scientific activities that contribute to the development and promotion of the Paralympic Movement.

Following this, Sainsbury’s will also be working with the education team from the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) to develop opportunities related to its successful Active Kids programme as part of LOCOG’s Education scheme, ‘Get Set’, the official London 2012 Education Programme for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Driven through an interactive website, it hosts lots of free resources for 3-19 year olds. Young people can use ‘Get Set’ to find out about the Games and explore the Olympic and Paralympic Values.

As we will experience fantastic Paralympic Summer Sport at its highest level in London, it is a most fitting time to celebrate our partnership with Sainsbury’s, and their commitment to the Paralympic Movement. This Tier One sponsor status for the Paralympic Games confirms their support of our organisation and the athletes who aim to be the best in their respective sport.

Because of the Paralympic Games and this kind of massive promotion, the Paralympic Movement will continue to grow. And because of this support, we will certainly gather a bigger audience and more fans who have not had the chance to experience Paralympic Sport. This promotional opportunity is that chance.

I hope everyone enjoys the excitement and the build-up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and I look forward to reading about the growth in the country as it happens, and the positive affect it will have on communities and people with a disability.

Sir Philip Craven is the President of the International Paralympic Committee. He represented Britain in five consecutive Paralympic Games between 1972 and 1988, competing in athletics, basketball and swimming