Organisers of the London 2012 Paralympics have put on sale a further one million tickets, as they marked 100 days until the games begin, and announced that the British band Coldplay would perform at its closing ceremony.
The organising committee LOCOG has already sold one million tickets for the Paralympics, and placed on sale further tickets for both the opening and closing ceremonies and all of the sports, including athletics.
The Paralympics closing ceremony on 9 September will see Coldplay – who have sold more than 55 million records worldwide – perform in the Olympic Stadium in front of an estimated TV audience of 750 million people.
Coldplay’s Chris Martin said: “It will be one of the biggest nights of our lives and we’re very excited to try to create a performance for the last night of the games that will close London 2012 in style.”
Kim Gavin, artistic director for the London 2012 closing ceremonies, said: “Working with Coldplay for the closing ceremony will be a great way to close the Paralympic Games and audiences will have the chance to see and hear their music in a totally unique way.
“Our show will be a celebration of the UK as a centre for festivals, which is a fitting finale to the amazing festival of sport that is the London 2012 games.”
With 4,200 athletes competing from 165 countries, the London Paralympics will be the biggest yet.
Many of the elite athletes who will be performing in London this summer were in Manchester this week for the BT Paralympic World Cup, competing in athletics, wheelchair basketball, boccia and seven-a-side football.
Meanwhile, Sport England has launched an £8 million fund – with National Lottery funding – to encourage more disabled young people and adults to take up sport.
Organisations will be able to bid for a share of the Inclusive Sport fund to “open up more sporting opportunities for disabled people”.
Only one in six disabled adults plays sport regularly, compared with a third of non-disabled adults.
Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson, often described as Britain’s greatest Paralympian, said: “I am delighted that this new allocation of funding is available and is specifically targeted at improving access to grassroots sport to more disabled people.
“I am confident that this will encourage people who don’t come from a traditional sporting background to participate.”
Charles Reed, chair of the English Federation of Disability Sport, added: “This fund represents an important commitment by Sport England and government to growing the number of disabled people who are active and playing sport.
“I encourage all those who share a passion for seeing disabled people gain the benefits of sport and physical activity to come forward with quality proposals which will make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Sport England said that a number of sports bodies were also drawing up plans to increase participation levels among disabled people over the next four years.
Any sport seeking public investment for its disability plans will have to sign up to targets for raising participation rates among disabled people, it said.
News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com