Construction of new permanent Paralympic venue complete with 200 Days to go to the Paralympic Games Construction of new permanent Paralympic venue complete with 200 Days to go to the Paralympic Games

On the eve of 200 days to go to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) have announced the completion of Eton Manor on the Olympic Park, the venue for Wheelchair Tennis during the Paralympic Games.

In just 200 days time, 4,200 athletes from over 140 countries will be gathering for the largest Paralympic Games ever – bringing the Games back to the country which gave birth to the Paralympic movement in 1948 when Dr Ludwig Guttmann organised a wheelchair archery competition at Stoke Mandeville hospital for 16 World War II soldiers with spinal cord injuries.

{FILE IMAGE VIA UKHC: BDS & EC - DAVID WEIR IN FLIGHT} After the Games, Eton Manor will be owned, funded and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. It will be home to Lee Valley Tennis Centre and Lee Valley Hockey Centre, which will accommodate a variety of groups from beginners to elite athletes with extensive community use, outreach and sports development programmes.

Equivalent to hosting 20 World Championships simultaneously, the Games will see 503 medal events across 11 days of competition. An unprecedented one million Paralympic tickets have already been sold, and with the first Paralympic-only Partner in Sainsbury’s, and Channel 4 providing more coverage than any previous Games, this summer will be a spectacular showcase for Paralympic sport.

The 10,500 capacity venue at Eton Manor, with distinctive blue courts, is the only new one designed to be used only for Paralympic competition.

112 Paralympic athletes will compete for six medals in Wheelchair Tennis at the Paralympic Games, and during the Olympic Games the venue will provide temporary aquatic training facilities including three Olympic-size swimming pools, a synchronised swimming pool and a water polo pool.

It has been built on the site of an old sports club with Olympic ties. It was the base of the old Eton Manor Sports Club, founded at the beginning of the 20th century, which had Olympians among its former members. Part of the running track used in the last London Olympic Games was transferred there after the 1948 Games.

Demolition of the disused sports hall began in December 2006 and it was the first building on the Olympic Park to be knocked down. Construction began in early 2010.

Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair said: “With just 200 days to go to the Opening Ceremony on 29 August, we’re in great shape for what should be a spectacular summer of Paralympic sport. Wheelchair Tennis has proved to be one of our most popular tickets, and the venue at Eton Manor will be a fantastic setting to showcase some truly world-class athletes.

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