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Leonard Cheshire Disability festival celebrating Olympic and Paralympic Games kicks off in Bristol

4 August 2016

Bristol will be the location for the first of ten carnivals hosted by Leonard Cheshire Disability, celebrating Brazilian culture and accessible sport, to mark the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.

British record-holding athlete Ryan Raghoo will star on Friday 5 August, as Bristol’s Cossham Gardens hosts the first of ten nationwide ‘Cheshire Carnivals’ to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games. With the Olympic opening ceremony taking place the same day, disabled residents, family, friends and staff will enjoy a taste of Rio.

Brazilian food, drink, music and entertainment will all be laid on. Activities will range from wheelchair dancing and basketball through to discuss throwing and even “rocket launching”.

Rising para-athletics star Ryan will demonstrate his long-jumping prowess and describe the different ways people of all abilities can be supported into sport. Ryan said:

“When I compete for medals, really I am competing to change perceptions of disabled people. I can’t wait to meet the residents at Cossham Gardens, discuss the journey I have had since being born with cerebral palsy, and enjoy the Brazilian entertainment together with everyone.”

To mark the Paralympic Year, Leonard Cheshire is carrying out a range of activities to create opportunities for and from sport for disabled people. They began 2016 by highlighting to politicians and the media the barriers to sport faced by disabled people. Since then they have enabled disabled people to enjoy tennis and snooker at the world renowned Crucible and National Tennis Centre respectively. Joining forces with Wimbledon wheelchair tennis champion Jordanne Whiley, they have illustrated the benefits to mental health that come with sport too. Athletics and cycling world record holder Kadeena Cox has also linked up with Leonard Cheshire, helping to challenge misconceptions of disability.

Building on the success of their long-running programmes supporting participation in everything from boxing to boccia, they are now looking at which sports and activities they should run more widely post-Paralympics.

Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Carnivals – our ‘Cheshire Carnivals’ – will be staged across Great Britain throughout August and September. After Bristol, the Rio roadshow will roll into Bath, Cumbria, Gloucester, Inverness, Kent, London, Newport, Nottingham and Sutton Coldfield.

Leonard Cheshire Disability festival celebrating Olympic and Paralympic Games kicks off in Bristol
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