May 8 - A new Paralympic talent identification programme has been launched today to help find talented British disabled athletes that have the chance to win a medal at Rio 2016.
The programme titled "Paralympic Potential: Bring on Brazil" is the first UK Paralympic talent identification initiative to be launched since London 2012.
The initiative is a partnership between UK Sport, the English Institute of Sport (EIS) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and has been launched to help ParalympicsGB build on their success at London 2012, where they finished third overall with 120 medals, 34 of which were gold.
Karen Darke was among those medallists as she won silver in handcycling at London 2012 despite only starting to compete seriously in the sport three years earlier.
"The Beijing Paralympic Games was truly inspirational for me and I was determined to give it my best shot to compete at London 2012," said Darke.
"Looking back, the three year journey from my first races in handcycling to winning a silver medal at a home Paralympic Games in London is one of the most incredible and intense things I have experienced in my life.
"Nothing can really compare with the elation of competing for your country at a Paralympic Games and I am living proof that with determination and sacrifice you can fulfil your dream.
"I would encourage anyone with a disability who is active and already involved in some form of sport to sign-up and you could be part of the ParalmypicsGB team in Rio."
"Paralympic Potential: Bring on Brazil" is seeking disabled athletes aged between 18 and 35 years old with the drive to compete and win at the Rio 2016.
The programme will be run by the UK Talent Team - which is a collaboration between UK Sport and EIS - while it will be supported by the BPA.
"We know from our experience with talent initiatives in the past that they can be a really important way of identifying the world champions and Paralympians of the future," said BPA performance director Penny Briscoe.
"The last Paralympic Potential campaign that was run inspired a number of stars and we are confident that the UK Talent Team will find us some more talented athletes this time around.
"London 2012 provided us with an incredible opportunity to inspire disabled and non-disabled people alike.
"Hopefully with this campaign we will reach out to those who watched British athletes on TV or in the stadia at the Paralympics last year.
"This is their chance."
The first assessment days are planned for June and July this summer.
To sign up to "Paralympic Potential: Bring on Brazil", click here.
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