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South East marks 1,000 days to 2012 Paralympic Games

3 December 2009

Today (Thursday, 3 December) marks 1,000 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

As the proud birthplace of the Paralympics, the South East will be a showcase for the next 1,000 days, hosting major events and training facilities for Olympic and Paralympic teams from across the globe. Also, already more than 1,000 South East companies are shortlisted as suppliers to the Games.

A key project unveiled today is Accentuate, a London 2012 Legacy Project, launched at the Brighton Dome. Accentuate is a three-year programme, funded by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and the Legacy Trust UK.

Accentuate promotes the South East as the UK’s most welcoming region for deaf and disabled sports competitors, creative professionals and visitors. It also fosters links between young and disabled people in the region with others in competitor countries.

Tourism South East is also focussing on disability and is working with communities to improve facilities, service and welcome for people with disabilities. It has developed a special programme of ‘Access Audits’ and other activities to kick-start this process in key destinations. Brighton was the first town to participate and, using this experience as a model, other towns and cities are now undergoing the same process, part-funded by Accentuate.

Keren Jones, SEEDA Director for Culture and Communities, said: “SEEDA is extremely proud to be one of the Accentuate partners. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a great time for everyone and will benefit our region not just in sporting opportunities, but will also help improve quality of life economically and culturally well beyond 2012.

“As a Regional Development Agency we are very excited that so many businesses and entrepreneurs across the region are becoming motivated by the Paralympic movement and using it to create new opportunities in industries such as film, performing arts, communications, digital technology, leisure and tourism.”

Elsewhere in the region, Paralympic Judo silver medalist Ian Rose marked the 1,000 milestone with a visit to Lent Rise School in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, and in Surrey, Rachel Morris, gold medalist in hand-cycling, helped launch a celebration event at Guildford Spectrum.

UK Sport also launched its national Paralympic talent recruitment campaign to identify Paralympics athletes in Brighton today. The athletes that are identified will receive training with an objective of winning gold in 2012. For more information visit

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Scott Swinton, Media Relations Manager, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 501 362


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