Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership mark 1,000 days until the Paralympics

With only
1,000 days to go until the 2012 Paralympic games, Liz Stone, an adaptive rowing member from Stratford upon
Avon was asked by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership to talk about her
equestrian Paralympic gold and silver at Atlanta ’96, and her new found sport
rowing at Round Oak School in
Warwick. This comes in the wake of an
International Paralympics Committee decision to allow intellectually disabled
athletes to compete at the Paralympic Games in athletics, swimming, rowing and
table tennis from 2012.

Will Bastin, from the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership for the 2012 Games,
said: “With only 1,000 days to go until the Paralympic Games it was important
to mark the occasion and draw attention to just how close 2012 is. The Paralympics is the world’s second largest international sporting event,
after the Olympics, and with an event of this size its affects are bound to be
felt outside of the host city so we are determined to ensure that Coventry and
Warwickshire benefits from the event coming to the UK.

“Events like this really inspire youngsters to get involved in physical
activity and might even help to create the next generation of Paralympic

Around 30 sixth form pupils, aged between 16 and 19-years-old, were treated to
a presentation from Liz, who lives in Bishops Itchington, before being given a
taste of another Olympic and Paralympic sport – rowing by Sport England funded
C&C Adaptive coach Maddy Millichap.

Liz, who is a Paralympic ambassador for the C&W
Partnership 2012 Games, said: “I really enjoy events like this, meeting the
pupils and sharing my experiences of the Paralympics. If I can help to inspire somebody to get into sport or to become more involved
in the 2012 Games then that will be great. But hearing how many of the youngsters here are already involved in sport was
fantastic and it’s also good to be able to recognise their achievements.”

Round Oak has recently been awarded specialist sports college status and it is
hoped events like this will support the school in achieving its aim of raising
standards of sport and physical education across all ability and age ranges. Sue Backhouse, school sports coordinator at Round Oak School, said: “Events
like this are very important as when the pupils listen to Liz’s stories and
hear about her achievements it encourages them to try their best in sport.

“We undertake a great deal of sporting activity at Round Oak and we are very
passionate about the sporting ideals, we find sport raises self esteem and
confidence, which allows pupils to achieve more in other areas. We are grateful to the Coventry and Warwickshire 2012 Partnership for
arranging the event and to Liz for coming to share her experiences as pupils
will remember her messages for a long time – the message that people should
follow their dreams and that dreams can come true.”

Photos form the day can be found at

Report from Maddie Millichap