By Tom Degun

Paralympic Inspiration_ProgrammeAugust 26 - About 60 British development athletes, with hopes of making it to the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics and the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics, attended the London 2012 ParalympicsGB preparation camp at the University of Bath's Sports Training Village to experience the pre-Games environment.

The athletes are part of the British Paralympic Association's (BPA) Paralympics Inspiration Programme (PIP), which aims to help prospective athletes and support staff as they build towards what it is hoped will be a successful Paralympic career in the future.

"The PIP is an experiential learning programme covering all aspects of what it takes to become a Paralympian," said BPA performance director Penny Briscoe.

"We want to provide the athletes on the programme with experience of a multisport preparation environment and the opportunity to see British Paralympic athletes in their final preparation stage before the London Games."

The young athletes will also spend three days in London where they will take a tour of the Paralympic Village and ParalympicsGB House, as well as receiving tickets to some events.

"The programme is designed to show both athletes and support staff what it takes to thrive in the Paralympic environment," Briscoe continued.

"The aim is to influence best practice in the development of disabled athletes in the United Kingdom and, by introducing development athletes to the Paralympic environment early, fast track their understanding of what it takes to become a Paralympian.

"If they are selected for Sochi or Rio they will have already been part of a Games environment that supports them being best prepared to deliver personal best and medal-winning performances."

paralympicsgb bath_camp_26-08-12Jodie Grinham, a 19-year-old archer from Crawley, is among the aspiring athletes taking part in PIP, which was launched by the BPA three months ago.

She said she hopes the programme will help her represent Britain at Rio 2016.

"The programme has given me so many opportunities," Grinham said.

"It's been everything I could have wanted it to be and I really couldn't have asked for anything else.

"When I joined I never thought I'd the have opportunity to do things like go to the Paralympic Games or the Village.

"I've never felt so confident about myself or so supported."

As part of their visit the PIP athletes also attended the Bath and North East Somerset Council's Paralympic Flame Celebration at the Recreation Ground in Bath at the weekend where they were introduced on stage by BBC Radio 1's Breakfast newsreader Dominic Byrne.

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