The spectacle provided by London 2012 made for sporting history. Now the Glasgow Commonwealth Games will create their own sporting legacy, reigniting the flame sparked by the Olympic and Paralympic Games almost two years ago.
This year’s Commonwealth Games will see disabled and non-disabled athletes compete in events that run parallel to one another, making for a truly inclusive sporting atmosphere, a move welcomed by Paralympic icon Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.
I work for the disability charity Vitalise – we provide essential respite breaks for people with disabilities and their carers, and like Tanni, we understand that a sense of inclusion is absolutely vital in enabling our guests to make the most of their experience.
While it is fantastic that athletes of all abilities are being given equal recognition for their talent and ambition, a survey we conducted on the first anniversary of London 2012 showed that this had yet to become a reality in the everyday lives of disabled people.
Despite hopes that the Games would change attitudes and lead to greater inclusion of people with disabilities in society, six out of 10 disabled people said that there has been no perceptible change to their lives one year on from the Games.
As the Commonwealth Games set out new hopes for achievement, Vitalise is calling on everyone to help us ensure that the capabilities and achievements of people with disabilities are not forgotten. They deserve the right to play a more meaningful and productive part in society.
To find out more about Vitalise and how you can support us, please call 0303 303 0147 or visit www.vitalise.org.uk.