Para sport receives a boost from top riders

  • The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is hoping to increase awareness and participation of para sport by making it more accessible.

    Hoof, the BEF’s participation programme, is hosting its first Para Sport Event 2015 on 25 October.

    Held at Moulton College, Northants, the day was inspired by the success of National Paralympic Day in July.

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    Paralympic dressage rider Sophie Wells will be giving a demonstration.

    The event is free and visitors will have the chance to find out more about a number of paralympic sports, including dressage, cycling, wheelchair basketball, rowing and archery.

    There will also be the opportunity to try out some of the sports on mobile demonstration units.

    H&H blogger Sophie took two individual medals and team gold at the Para-Equestrian Dressage European Championships in Deauville, France (17-20 September).

    She will be riding as part of an introduction to para dressage demonstration, which will run for two hours in both the morning and afternoon.

    Sophie, who also won team gold and two individual silvers at the London 2012 Paralympics, will be joined by other para dressage riders in the demo.

    “Lots of people will see disability sports but not know how they can get involved — that is the biggest hurdle,” she said.

    “There are lots of sports out there and this gives people the opportunity to try different sports.

    “This event allows that flexibility, you don’t have to just pick one sport you can do a variety, which is why events like this are so important.”

    In total, the British para dressage team at this year’s Europeans won 11 medals.

    A spokesman for the BEF said he hopes October’s event will “mark the start” of a regular, more wide-spread celebration of para sport.

    He added he also hopes it will encourage the increased access and participation of disability sport throughout the country.

    Click here for more information and to find out how to register for tickets

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