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World Cup a showcase for Paralympic sport

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Tony Garrett | 09:09 UK time, Thursday, 21 May 2009

After two compelling wheelchair races at the recent London Marathon, Paralympic sport comes alive in earnest this week in Manchester when the city hosts the fifth Paralympic World Cup.

The event, which is the largest international multi-sport event outside of the Paralympics, will see 174 medallists from Beijing competing in wheelchair basketball, swimming, track cycling and athletics.

It will be an excellent opportunity for the public to watch the British medallists and some new exciting talent in action, especially as we look forward to 2012, and in addition, many of the world's top names including South African swimmer Natalie Du Toit and amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius are competing.

As you drive around the city to the venues, there are plenty of banners up announcing that the event is in town and announcing the introduction for the event of a new sponsor in BT.

The concept of the event was formed after the Athens Paralympics to ensure that there was greater high-level competition and media coverage between Paralympic years.

Traditionally, there was little of both; how could the media and the public follow and identify some of the athletes and understand the sports with some of its quirks including classification when they were only seeing it every four years?

Since the Paralympic World Cup started, the successful multimedia coverage of the event has helped to propel new names into the public arena and indeed last year's event was the first time we saw the likes of swimmers Heather Frederickson and Sam Hynd in action - both went on to win gold in China.

Great Britain's Helen Freeman in action against Mexico

The Paralympic World Cup is an important in showcasing the BBC's continued commitment to disability sport and in reaching a mainstream audience.

There is a feeling that the general public were enthused and captivated by our coverage, both from Athens and Beijing, and talking with the regional radio stations and local people here in Manchester I honestly believe that the public have a far greater knowledge and understanding than they did a few years ago. Most of them certainly understand that Paralympic athletes train as hard as their able-bodied colleagues.

Significant changes have also been made within the sports themselves with Paralympic athletes in cycling, swimming and athletics starting to get the same levels of support as their Olympic counterparts and it is critical for the success of Paralympic sport that this trend continues.

The last few weeks have been extremely busy in ensuring that there is as much coverage across all the BBC platforms to promote British and International athletes and one of my roles is to ensure that if we are covering, for example, the cycling team, can we provide content for all of the television, radio and online outlets.

The event comes to a conclusion on Bank Holiday Monday on BBC Two with Steve Cram presenting live from Aquatics Centre from 1500-1715 BST when we see some top-class international swimming combined with extensive highlights from the finals of the wheelchair basketball and the best of the action from athletics and cycling.

For the first time, Paralympic Sport will be broadcast on 5 Live Sports Extra, when the digital station will cover the track cycling and wheelchair basketball on Friday afternoon.

As the action gets underway I am looking for some electric basketball action and apart from watching the likes of Paralympic gold medallists Dave Weir and Jody Cundy in action, I am really hoping that after a injury-ravaged 2008, 800m runner Danny Crates can make a successful return to top-level competition on Sunday in what will be his 'Paralympics'

If you are in and around Manchester, you won't miss that the event is taking place and we hope the good folks of Manchester come out to support the event.

I'd be interested to know what you think about our coverage of the Paralympic World Cup. Let me know what you liked and whether you would like to see us do anything differently.


  • Comment number 1.

    Personally I think the BBC could have shown a lot more of the paralympic world cup than a measly two hours.

    Just like the coverage of the paralympic games from Beijing, it seems as though the BBC only consider a token amount of coverage to any disability sport as an acceptable amount.

    This also goes for female sports such as the Women's FA Cup.

    For example, the Snooker world cup was on for hours every day, when Wimbledon starts ago there will be far too much coverage.

    Why can't the BBC designate BBC2 or BBC3 as a channel that will showcase these "minority" sports whenever they are on?

  • Comment number 2.

    I think it is great that disabled people participate in sport. I do think that the classifications are too complicated for the casual observer to comprehend though. Overall I still cannot take paralympics seriously while there is still scope for cheating (a la Spanish Basketball), and while only a few countries have access to the latest and most expensive equipment, i.e. Go-Faster Wheelchairs, Pistorius "Springs" ...

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Its minority sports like the Paralympic World Cup which will raise voices over the need to reinstate Grandstand to the Saturday and Sunday schedules rather then just sport here and there and broken all over the schedule and lack of advertisement.
    Typical BBC however wont listen to the viewers.

  • Comment number 5.

    Exactly WebbyFoxes. Arguably 15-minutes coverage of something in Sunday Grandstand every couple of months reached a wider audience than one two-hour dedicated event on a Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

  • Comment number 6.

    Exactly Brekkie, unfortuantely the ex Sports Director Rogey Mosey, he got rid of it without allowing it to blossom into the many Sports that the Beeb covered, saying that it's format was old.
    But not everyone wants to press the red button to watch other sports, they want it on the mainstream TV.
    The BBC shot themselves in the foot, Sport is broken across the schedule and only reinstating Grandstand will help the BBC recoup broken schedules and give mintory sports a more bigger view throughout the year then here and there as it is now.

  • Comment number 7.

    why arent you showing today's french open tennis on 301 or 302? I watch tv via a freeview tuner on my pc and those are the only 2 that work on it and airing is motogp on 301 and rowing on 302! murray is on soon and i cant watch it and it isnt going to be on bbc2, disgraceful!

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    Why was there so little coverage of the Cycling? Mainly talking heads and a piece focusing on Jason Queally, who despite his Olympic status, is only part of a team. The Queally footage should not have encroached on the coverage.

    I attended trackside on the Thursday and it was a Showcase for Paralympic Sport, the BBC coverage was not.

  • Comment number 10.


    I would like to say thqat the Sports Editors Blog is really going downhill since Mr Mosey moved to his new posotion.

    There are hardly any updates and there is no input from BBC staff

    Indeed Rogers replacment has not even started a blog yet- i would have thought with the likes of the Confedrations Cup and other Sporting events on the BBC,there would have been more Blogs but that is not the case.

    Are there going to be any blogs published to introduce the new Championsip Football Show or the new Premeirship season?


  • Comment number 11.

    One thing about the sports page confuses me to no end. Why are the headlines for different sports jumbled together? A tennis headline, a rugby headline, a tennis headline, a cricket headine, then tennis again.
    What is the logic behind this? To me, it appears pretty daft. Who wants to jump from sport to sport every line?

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Over a month has gone by without any blog postings - it hasn't been like the BBC has been short of sports coverage (Wimbledon, Confed Cup, Silverstone F1, etc.).

    Why no blogs?

  • Comment number 15.

    Your World Cup a showcase for Paralympic sport blog is note worthy.
    All photos of contestants are very fine.
    You have encouraged these handicapped persons for further boost to partcipate in future sports events.
    One small regret is that,BBC is not giving any prior notifications to BBC Channels network and to your members of this website.
    Please get more sports journalists to this field and wish to get more sports activites from these less god chosen people.
    We are as humanbeings to be with them by so many good means.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.


    I just thought i would post this response from Lewis Wiltshire - BBC Sport who has explained why the Sports Editors Blog has not been updated in a while.

    "As for the Sport Editors Blog, you're right to point out that it hasn't been updated in a while. Sorry. To be honest, we found that the entries were a little dry (Fletch and our star writers have much more interesting jobs than us management types who sit in meeting rooms and decide stuff that is quite dull to read about!) and we also found that our sister site, News Online, covered most of the issues for us in their Editors Blog, because we and they share a publishing system and most issues affect us both. There's always the actual content, which is clearly different for us and News, but I actually think this is better, for me to answer questions here for the people most interested in the subject. Interesting that you noted it had gone quiet though - is it worth reviving, do you think?"

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Techno

    Did you get an email from Lewis?

    For some reason my last reply got removed, not sure why I didn't say anything bad about the BBC, as I'm sure you know I love the BBC.

    I've never seen the news editors blog but didn't think that could have coverage information for events like Wimbledon and the Open Golf?

    Like you I loved the Sport Editors blog and hope that it will be revived.

  • Comment number 20.

  • Comment number 21.

    Forgot to add David to you not post on the pov board anymore?

    There are quite a few radio threads and your comments were intresting

    Finally i just realised post 18 doesnt make sense if you dont where Lewis replied!!

  • Comment number 22.

    I would like this blog revived. It was always an interesting read, even when the Inside Sport man disagreed with everyone who commented!!

  • Comment number 23.

    Further to previous comments, please do revive this blog. It was always a good place of hearing about acquired TV rights and also interesting to know what the thinking was behind the production of the programmes, plus the openness and accountability was refreshing. Please do revive it. I'm struggling to find out about these things since this stopped.

  • Comment number 24.

    I certainly would support the reinstatement of the Sports Editors' blog. I found it very useful and interesting. I have checked it more or less every other day and have been disappointed to see there was nothing about the Derby, Royal Ascot, the French Open, Wimbledon, choice of live of Football League matches etc..

    I would strongly urge you to bring it back and would argue it was anything but dry - as the number of responses to some of the sport editors' blogs testify.

    Other broadcasters do not have such a transparent system for viewers and listeners to find out what is going on and to comment directly to the people who make the decisions so it will be very sad if the BBC decides to discontinue this feature.

  • Comment number 25.

    Reinstate this.
    I liked the arguments between the Inside Sports editor and my comments to himself and no reply :).
    Plus we havent heard from the new Sports Director Babera Slater...surely she needs to be active in this blog with many rights under threat from the main broadcasters.

  • Comment number 26.

    This blog absolutely needs to be reinstated - it's been an excellent communication tool over the years between BBC Sport and it's viewers.

    If not, at the very least all the sports blogs need to be bought together under one holding page, so it's easy to find the content in one place, rather than having to check the numerous individual blogs.

  • Comment number 27.

    Because life wouldn't be complete without Brekkie and Webby and all my friends from this blog, you may like to know we've set up a new London 2012 blog - where you'll be able to applaud or attack our work towards the Olympics. It can be found at and I'll be updating it regularly with the help of other colleagues such as Dave Gordon (BBC Sport's head of major events) and Amanda Farnsworth (formerly of Inside Sport and now the 2012 Project executive).

  • Comment number 28.

    Whilst Roger having his own blog is a good thing, this blog needs to be revived. Either there's a head of sport and she needs to be accountable or there's not.

    Bring the blog back.

  • Comment number 29.

    Also, put the link for this blog pack on the BBC Sport front page.


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