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WheelPower National Junior Games begin at Stoke Mandeville

Today, the annual WheelPower National Junior Games begin. Over 200 disabled children will take part in the week-long event at Stoke Mandeville Stadium- the birthplace of the Paralympic Games.

Stoke Mandeville Stadium was the starting location choice for London 2012's Paralympic Flame. It is where German neurologist Sir Ludwig Guttmann sowed the seeds for the first Paralympics in 1948. Then, he organised a sporting competition for injured patients being rehabilitated from World War II at the local Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The WheelPower National Junior Games, which will take place from today (October 2) until next Sunday (October 7), is supported by Thomas Cook Children’s Charity for the first time ever. Over 200 disabled children will take part, trying new sports and receive expert coaching.

The event is combined with the National Junior Games for young people with a physical or sensory impairment, who will join young wheelchair users over the next few days. Britain’s 11-times Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson believes the event will be a huge hit, following the success of London 2012. Baroness Tanni is a Patron and board member of WheelPower.

“Some of the athletes who competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games were encouraged to take up sport by taking part in a National Junior Games at Stoke Mandeville. It’s really important that we inspire young disabled people to take part in sport and securing the Junior Games for three years is a great achievement. Thank you Thomas Cook Children’s Charity.”