Duncan Mackay

Sitting at lunch with Oscar Pistorious yesterday was the starting gun for me on this year's BT Paralympic World Cup.

In Manchester over the next seven days, starting tomorrow (May 25) and continuing through until next Monday (May 31), more than 300 of the world's elite Paralympians will be competing at the event - which is regarded by many as one of the most important stepping stones to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

It's a fantastic opportunity to see the world's elite in action. Many of the athletes we'll see competing over the next week will be at the start line of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The competition gets stronger every year and it really reinforces for me the power of Parlaympic sport to inspire, connect and engage people of all ages and backgrounds.

BT Ambassadors Oscar Pistorius and Liz Johnson will be there of course at the heart of the action. The BT Ambassador programme is our way of engaging and inspiring our people and our customers as London 2012 gets closer, and it's a pleasure and a privilege for me to work closely with people like Oscar and Liz along our journey.

The athletes are doing a fantastic job for us - whether competing, speaking at internal or customer events, or supporting our wider PR and marketing programmes.

We wish them and all the athletes the very best of luck as they compete over the next few days.

The start of this year's BT Paralympic World Cup also provides us with the perfect opportunity to announce our increased commitment to Paralympic sport. It's something that BT is very proud of, and I am pleased to say we are now doing even more to help secure a lasting legacy for Paralympic sport in the UK. 

Beyond 2012 BT is committing to continue its support of the British Paralympic Association (BPA) all the way to January 2016. This means we will help support ParalympicsGB athletes as they compete in Sochi in 2014 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016. BT will have exclusive partner rights with the BPA and the highest level of sponsorship rights. 

It's a very exciting time, with a little over two years to the start of London 2012.  In our role as official communications services partner, BT is delivering the most connected Games ever, and ensuring everyone can be involved in the Games like never before.  Every image, every sports report, every visit to the London 2012 website and millions of calls, e-mails and texts will be delivered over BT networks.

Suzi Williams is BT Group marketing and brand director. BT is the official communications services partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and title sponsor of the BT Paralympic World Cup. For more information click here