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International Journalists on board for Olympic and Paralympic tour
7:20am Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
JOURNALISTS from around the globe descended on Buckinghamshire on Monday for a coach tour of the county’s Olympic and Paralympic sites.
Thirteen international media representatives, from countries such as Russia, China, Uruguay, Qatar and St Lucia, visited Stoke Mandeville, Chesham and Dorney.
This was part of a three-day Olympic and Paralympic legacy visit to the UK organised by the Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The group began the tour in Bucks at Stoke Mandeville Stadium where they were met by Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive of Wheelpower.
The journalists then moved on to Stoke Mandeville Hospital and gathered around the newly-unveiled statue of Dr Ludwig Guttmann, the founding father of the Paralympic movement.
They learned how the world famous rehabilitation programme which now includes sport, art and music therapies is helping many thousands of patients rebuild lives and create independence.
During the visit to Aylesbury, they were told how Stoke Mandeville will be the venue for the first-ever international leg of the Paralympic Torch Relay in March 2014, and how disability sports participation at the home of the Paralympic movement has boomed over the past 12 months.
Next, the party was taken to the Global Infusion Group in Chesham and was given a presentation on how the company catered at several Olympic and Paralympic venues last year and is now using that experience to win contracts at international events such as the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi and the Fifa World Cup in Brazil.
Finally, the journalists were transported across the county to Dorney Lake, where they were met by Ivor Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Dorney Lake Trust.
He outlined how the massive efforts behind creating a successful Olympic & Paralympic venue, completing the post-games restoration programme and simultaneously hosting international rowing and triathlon events this summer. The group, which was due to leave the UK on Wednesday after further Olympic visits in London, was accompanied on Monday by Ian Barham, the Buckinghamshire Legacy Manager.
Mr Barham said: “It was a real whistle-stop tour because there was so much for them to see but I know they were very impressed by what the county and its venues have achieved so far in 2013 and the plans to continue to build the legacy the Games have left for future generations.
“The aim of the visit was to work with the journalists and to help them spread the word across the world that Bucks is a great place to visit and a great place to do business with.”
Buckinghamshire Legacy Board Chairman Carl Etholen said: “We all know locally how good we are in this county, so it’s nice for our achievements and venues to be publicised internationally to help spread our reputation, thereby bringing new jobs and investment opportunities into our county.”
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