2012 Paralympics Legacy? “What Legacy”
Jo is a mother of three, She is a double amputee having lost her legs in a house fire while trying to save her children. The prosthetic legs she has are terrible. We wanted to enter the Bristol Half Marathon so emailed Bristol City Council and asked for six places. This is where the problems started. I was told that only elite disabled athletes could participate.
Since then I have had numerous telephone conversations and emails asking is we could find a way. All I could get was the reasons given for her entry NOT being allowed:
1. There is a time limit of 3 hours to complete.
2. The cost and disruption would be too great.
How can it be that a city event designed to take over the roads, bring people together, celebrate overcoming and achievement and showcase our offer to the world has been set up in such a way as to not allow disabled people to participate. We are told this is something for all Bristolians. Clearly it is not. Every reason the council have given for us not to participate have been covered by Paul’s Place charity.
2012 saw disabled athletes compete in the Paralympics. The whole country came together to support the fantastic Great Britain team. We saw medal after medal being won and the whole nation rejoiced in the glory.
At the time the British Olympic Association and the government said the legacy would live on.
“The London 2012 Paralympics Games shone a light on the abilities and achievements of disabled people in an unprecedented way, raising the profile of disabled people and shifting attitudes.”
Among the actions promised were:
“working to build on the positive impact the Games had on perceptions of disabled people” and , including through its work on the cross-government Fulfilling Potential strategy and action plan and role models campaign” and Sport England “working to ensure the number of disabled people participating in sport continues to increase”.
If only that had happened.
Less than two years on, one of England’s largest cities “Bristol” is denying Jo the right to participate in it’s half marathon.
Bristol has suggested a number of reasons she could not participate: the literature states the half marathon is open to elite wheelchair athletes only; there is a maximum time limit most disabled people could not meet; health and safety concerns; insurance implications.
We believe that not only is this morally outrageous and legally problematic but it betrays the Paralympic promise.
Please support us to support her.
1. Log onto www.paulsplace.org.uk for more information
2. Log onto Paul’s Place facebook
3. Send the link to all your friends
4. Sign our petition on http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/back-jo-for-a-place-in-the-bristol-half-marathon-4
5. Run the half marathon for her
6. Please sponsor her
Please support us so that this inequality will never happen again.