By Tom Degun

Surrey Sports Park 2November 13 - The first ever ParalympicsGB festival of sport has already proven popular with the public with over 400 people signed up with over three weeks to the start of the event.

The inaugural ParalympicsGB Sports Fest will be held at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford (pictured top) on December 3 and 4 and while it comes less than three months after the conclusion of the hugely successful London 2012 Paralympic Games.

So far 175 people have registered to attend the event with a further 225 having registered to express interest in attending one of the 2013 festivals that will follow the event in Guildford.

Given that each person registering for themselves, on behalf of their children or on behalf of a school group, it is expected that the number of attendees could be even greater.

"It's great to see so many people contacting us to sign up or to express interest in future events", said British Paralympic Association (BPA) chief executive Tim Hollingsworth.

"Before London, we ran a number of Paralympic Potential Days and these would have around 50 or 60 people coming in the door.

"For our event in December we are looking at two or maybe even three times this many on each day of the event.

"We are confident that not only are we reaching out to a lot of people who have been inspired by London 2012, but that we will be able to put on a high-quality experience for every person who comes along."

Tim HollingsworthBPA chief executive Tim Hollingsworth is pleased by the early interest in the inaugural ParalympicsGB Sports Fest

The BPA also today confirmed that the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) will be a partner of the inaugural Sports Fest while it is expected that the other Home Nation Disability Sport Organisations will partner the BPA in delivering similar sports festivals in the other Home Nations next year.

"It is important that we work closely with our partners in sport, such as the EFDS, to provide the best possible information and opportunities for every single person who will come through the doors of the Sports Fest," added Hollingsworth.

Barry Horne, the EFDS chief executive, admitted his organisation was happy to be involved.

"After the London Games, our research told us that everyone believes Paralympians are inspirational role models and significantly that disabled people are considering doing more sport now," he said.

"Not every disabled person can or will want to be a Paralympian or even reach elite standard. For many, just being active is enough.

"That is why EFDS are keen to ensure all opportunities are inclusive for people with every impairment and at a level they wish to take part at.

"This Sports Fest will provide another great opportunity to try different sports and find out more information on what is available out there.

"We look forward to supporting the day and increasing the number of disabled people who can be active for life".

The ParalympicsGB Sports Fest will also have provide more information to anyone interested in opportunities for coaching disability sport or volunteering at sports clubs.

Anyone interested in attending can register via the ParalympicsGB website by clicking here

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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