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Foreign Office Minister celebrates Paralympics

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt: "The Paralympics are a vivid illustration of the talents, ambition and skills of athletes with disabilities."

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt today celebrated the Paralympics-spirit when he joined athletes from Morocco, Pakistan, the DRC and Senegal who are training at the University of Bedfordshire ahead of the games, which begin on 29 August.

Mr Burt, who was also Minister for Disabled People 1995-97 and played a critical role in passing the UK’s 1996 Disability Discrimination Act, has previously met some of the athletes from Morocco in June this year.

Speaking today, the Minister said:

“The Paralympics are a vivid illustration of the talents, ambition and skills of athletes with disabilities.

“For over 50 years the Paralympics have reminded us that we should celebrate diversity and I am delighted to meet some of the amazing athletes who will be competing in London 2012. During my visits this year I have met many individuals who have overcome huge adversity to compete in London and shown great dedication to their training. In Morocco earlier this year I was treated to a breathtaking display by the sitting volleyball team, who I saw again today. They and all the other Paralympic athletes are an inspiration to us all and I wish them luck as they prepare for the competition ahead. The spirit at Bedford today was wonderful. The team there, and the local volunteers, are to be warmly commended for offering up the best of UK facilities and hospitality.”