4 April 2017
Double Paralympic and three-time World T42 200m gold medallist Richard Whitehead MBE (coach: Keith Antoine) and European medallists Carly Tait (Jenni Banks) and Sam Ruddock (Jim Edwards) have today unveiled the Co-op as a Team Supporter of the British Athletics Para team as well as a National Partner of the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.
With 101 days to go to the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships, the Co-op marked the partnerships by launching a ‘Support our Heroes’ mosaic for the British Para Athletics team. The image includes Ruddock, Tait and Whitehead and will be used as a digital image for the public to upload their messages of support in the build-up and throughout the Championships, which take place between 14-23 July.
The mosaic is one of a number of support activities they will be carrying out as a Team Supporter, with a ‘Co-op Local Heroes’ tour planned after the Championships.
On the announcement of the new British Team Supporter, Whitehead commented:
“It is fantastic to have the support of the Co-op as we build-up to the biggest World Para Athletics Championships ever. After success in Rio, there is a real buzz amongst the athletes and we all cannot wait to compete in front of our home fans at the London Stadium.
“I personally have wonderful memories from the Paralympic Games at London 2012, particularly the support we received from the great British public. I hope people will back the ‘Support the Heroes’ mosaic and upload their messages to the team – it really does make a difference to the athletes.”
UK Athletics Chief Executive and London 2017 Championship Director Niels de Vos said:
“We are delighted to welcome the Co-op as both a Team Supporter of our successful British Athletics Para team and as a National Partner for the World Para Athletics Championships. There is continuing support and enthusiasm for Para Athletics amongst the great British public and these partnerships reflect that.
As a National Partner of the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships, the Co-op will be ‘Feeding the Championships’ by providing nutritious British sourced meals to the entire workforce. The Championships mark the start of the Summer of World Athletics at the London Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the biggest sporting event of 2017.
Niels de Vos added:
“Additionally, the Co-op’s support in providing meals for our entire workforce during the World Para Athletics Championships is another key milestone as we build closer to the Championships in July.”
Peter Batt, the Divisional Managing Director of the Co-operative Group added:
“Having supported our colleague, Carly Tait, and witnessed the huge support for her across the Co-op, it was a natural step to extend our support and involvement to this year’s London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships. We really want to encourage the British Public to get behind our athletes so I hope everyone will join us by uploading personal messages and pictures of support on our digital message board, the ‘Support our Heroes’ mosaic - which has been launched today.”