The BT Paralympic World Cup is a vital event for athletes hoping to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, being staged as the countdown clock ticks 100 days to the Paralympics.

This year’s event will include Athletics (22 May), Wheelchair Basketball (23-26 May) and Football 7-a-side (23-26 May), with international matches taking place in Boccia (24 May) and Sitting Volleyball (25 May) during the event. Tickets are available for all sports and for the first time can be purchased for International Matches.

To celebrate the ticket launch of the 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup, Wheelchair Basketball player Laurie Williams, Football 7-a-side player George Fletcher and T44 sprinter Jonnie Peacock took part in an iconic ‘reaching for new heights’ photoshoot in Manchester.

Laurie Williams’ GB team will be hoping to defend their BT Paralympic World Cup title after a career highlight victory over Germany saw them take gold at last year’s event. This year will be the fourth time Laurie has represented the senior women’s GB team at the BT Paralympic World Cup following her debut in 2009, she said: “This is my fourth BT Paralympic World Cup and the crowds are always great there, especially at last year’s final where we took the gold medal. We are going in to this year’s event as defending champions but the opposition is tough so we are going to have to work hard; it certainly won’t be an easy competition. It will provide us with a great opportunity to prepare for London 2012 and really show what we can do.”

Suzi Williams, Director of BT Group Marketing and Brand, said: “The level of competition at this year’s BT Paralympic World Cup is set to be fiercer than ever as the athletes prepare for London 2012 – it’s a fantastic opportunity to see the world’s very best in action.”

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: “I would really encourage the public to buy tickets and come along to the 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup. It will be a brilliant opportunity to see British athletes and their international competition in action ahead of London 2012 and it will be great for the British competitors to experience the support of a home crowd. The BT 2012 Paralympic World Cup is the perfect warm-up event ahead of this year’s Paralympic Games.”

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “The BT Paralympic World Cup is a fantastic chance to see some of the world’s top athletes compete. Manchester is a city that truly loves sport with a history of hosting major international events and this is a great opportunity to see some of the very best sportsmen and women just before the London 2012 Paralympic Games.”

Channel 4, the London 2012 Paralympic Games host broadcaster, will provide multi-platform coverage of the BT Paralympic World Cup for a second year, compounding its commitment to raise awareness of Paralympic sport.

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