Paralympic Legacy

It is ten years since the London 2012 Paralympic Games and to mark this important anniversary I met with CEO of the Paralympic Heritage Trust, Vicky Hope-Walker, at the Olympic Park.

The National Paralympic Heritage Trust was established in July 2015 to protect and share British Paralympic Heritage. The Trust runs a Heritage Centre at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire as well as touring exhibitions at sporting and heritage events across Britain. This short film explains the birth of the Paralympic movement and the significance of Stoke Mandeville.

10 Year Anniversary Exhibition at the Olympic Park

I met Vicky at a special exhibition marking the 10th anniversary since the London 2012 Summer Games. In collaboration with the London Legacy Corporation and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund the exhibition is on display in the velodrome and celebrates the history of the British Paralympic Movement, bringing its stories of human endeavour to life. The Trust is also involved in cataloguing the Paralympic collection, important work that is still in progress with a collection of well over 10,000 items.

Paralympic Heritage Exhibition at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Lee Valley VeloPark.

Vicky talked me through the exhibition and the various exhibits, including a jacket from the Paralympic opening ceremony and the cycling gloves and shoes worn by para-cyclist Neil Fachie when he won gold in this very building. The opening ceremony jacket was designed by international costume designer Tahra Zafar and is decorated with text from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was a central theme of the Paralympic opening ceremony. One of the petals that made up the Olympic and Paralympic Cauldron at the London 2012 Games is also displayed. The petals, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, represent each participating nation, 204 for the Olympics and 164 for the Paralympics. The exhibition is completely free and open to the public throughout August and September.

Pass the Baton

As a legacy organisation I was particularly interested in what Vicky would say when I asked what #PassTheBaton meant to her.

So what does #PassTheBaton mean to me? I think it means several things, it means lets keep the legacy alive. Let’s keep it alive by making sure our museums and our galleries are accessible to everyone. Let’s keep pushing forward. Let’s keep making changes. Let’s make sure that disability history and sporting history is recorded in it’s broadest sense and lets say in the next ten years we are going to have one of the worlds best collections of Paralympic and disability sport history.

Vicky Hope-Walker, Paralympic Heritage Trust

A world beating Paralympic and disability sport history collection and the nations museums and galleries accessible to all. That is an admirable Paralympic legacy.

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