November 25 - Eight-time Paralympic gold medal winning tennis player Esther Vergeer has claimed that society's perception of disability has to change.
The Dutch superstar announced her retirement after a glittering career which also encompassed 42 Grand Slam and an unbeaten run spanning 470 matches and stretching back almost a decade.
In her retirement, however, she is focusing upon helping others and is using sport for disabled youngsters as a means to bring about these wider social improvement.
Speaking following the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sport Awards in Athens, where she was awarded Best Female for her singles and doubles titles at London 2012, Vergeer claimed everyone should have the same opportunities.
"We are on society and people with disabilities are part of that - in sport but also in work and in social life," she told insidethegames.
"We need to change the way people see disabled people to create a warmer environment for them to be part of society.
"We have to create that awareness and acceptance and this absolutely does need to be improved."
To achieve this Vergeer has set up a programme for disabled teenagers in her native country.
"We give sport clinics and I give advice on nutrition and social development - on how do you create self awareness and self-esteem, for example," she said.
"I think it's very important in general to have little kids with disabilities playing sport because it will help them develop and to create a position in society.
"Hopefully, by the time they finish school they will be aware of who they are and what they can do and who they want to be.
"That is my goal. It's not to create talent or to create the next Esther Vergeer, it's not to create a gold medallist - not in the first place anyway - but to develop more disabled participants."
This wider responsibility for the Paralympic Movement was a theme which echoed throughout the IPC General Assembly held alongside the Sport Awards - with figures including Presidential runner-up Alan Dickson speaking about a "strong moral purpose" to raise standards.
Britain's five-time Paralympic dressage gold medallist Sophie Christiansen claimed in August that while interest in Parasport has soared, general attitudes towards disabilities have not.
In Vergeer, however, the Movement looks to have found an excellent ambassador to exercise this "moral purpose".
As well as her sporting credentials she was also refreshingly willing to share the secrets of her success.
She described how a constant battle for improvement was how she kept herself motivated and that this involved areas such as developing her wheelchair and by trying different coaches and different wheelchair styles.
"It's talent, ways of training, amount of training, people that you have around you, facilities that you have around you and all of that," Vergeer told insidethegames.
"But i think a big part of my victories was the mental skills that I have - I stay calm and you never see if I am happy or unhappy.
"Because I've won so many matches in a row, a lot of the times when players had to play me, they saw the draw and lost confidence - it's such a mental game.
November 2013: Vergeer and Weir gain top honours at IPC Sport Awards
November 2013: British charity claim people's attitudes towards disabled not altered by London 2012 Paralympics
August 2013: Paralympic role-models do not represent whole disabled community in UK, claims five-time gold medallist
February 2013: Veergeer one of the greatest athletes of all time says IPC President
February 2013: Wheelchair tennis star Vergeer announces retirement after unbeaten decade