ParalympicsGB take pride of place on Royal Mail Stamps
10 months ago
The Royal Mail will be the first postal administration to commemorate the gold medals of its national Paralympic team by featuring them on a set of six special stamps.
From its humble beginnings sixty-four years ago in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, to pride of place in the sporting calendar, the Paralympic Games will be coming home this summer. Royal Mail will be celebrating its return in winning style.
To mark the return of the Paralympic Games, Royal Mail will issue a set of six first class stamps in a specially designed miniature sheet, celebrating ParalympicsGB’s gold medal wins at the London 2012 Games. All Paralympic gold medallists will be given the opportunity to feature on these stamps and each stamp will feature a different group of Paralympic gold medal winners.
This will be the first time that a set of stamps have been issued to celebrate Paralympic gold medallists from the host country. On August 29, Royal Mail will also become the first postal administration whose country is hosting the games to issue a set of stamps to celebrate the start of the Paralympic Games.
The modern Paralympic Games can be traced back to 1948 when the Paralympic movement began. That summer, Dr Ludwig Guttmann, inspirational director of the Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, decided to organise an archery competition to coincide with the Olympics, for those who had been injured or wounded during the Second World War and were confined to wheelchairs.
This summer, around 4,200 athletes from 160 countries are expected to attend the Paralympic Games, with 471 medal events on the programme spread across 21 sports. At the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, ParalympicsGB won 42 gold medals. The UK's first ever Paralympic gold medal was won by Margaret Maughan in archery in 1960.
Royal Mail has a long association with the British Paralympic Association. In 1992, Royal Mail was the official sponsor of the British Olympic and Paralympic teams, at the Barcelona games. This year, in support of ParalympicsGB, Royal Mail will be giving £200,000 to the British Paralympics Association, which will be shared equally among all ParalympicsGB gold medallists.
Welcoming the announcement, Tanni Grey-Thompson, 11 time Paralympic Gold medallist, said: “I’m delighted that Royal Mail will be producing stamps to celebrate the nation’s Gold Medals at the Paralympic games this summer. Royal Mail stamps have become an integral part of the paralympic legacy in the UK. The return of the Paralympic games to the UK makes it an even more special event and I look forward to celebrating every win with the team.”
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive Officer, British Paralympic Association, said: “Commemorating our gold medallists’ achievements on a set of stamps is a first in the history of the Paralympic Games. Royal Mail has been a friend of the BPA for a long time. We are grateful to them for their significant contribution of £200,000 to help support all of our Paralympians gold medal winners.”
"It is a fitting tribute which demonstrates how far the movement has come in recent times."Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive Officer, British Paralympic Association
Moya Greene, Chief Executive, Royal Mail, said: “The Paralympic movement was founded in this country and London 2012 will be the second time the UK has hosted the event. We are excited to be announcing our Paralympics Gold Medal stamps programme and proud to be the first postal administration to recognise its country’s Paralympians in this way.
“The stamps will be a special way for people across the country to celebrate ParalympicsGB’s gold medal wins and help mark their amazing achievement. Royal Mail is proud to be involved in this once in a lifetime event and to provide financial support to the UK’s talented athletes."Moya Green, Chief Executive, Royal Mail
• Royal Mail will be the first postal administration to commemorate the gold medals of its national Paralympic team by featuring them on a set of six special stamps
• The UK is the birthplace of the Paralympic Games. The movement was founded in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, in 1948 by Dr Ludwig Guttmann, who was known as the “father of sports for people with disabilities”. London 2012 will be the second time the UK has hosted the Paralympic Games
• The set will be available to purchase for £3.60 and will feature six first class stamps, each displaying a group of British Paralympic gold medallists from this year’s Paralympic Games. The stamps will be available for sale from 27 September in over 5,200 post offices
• Royal Mail is making a gift of £200,000 to the British Paralympics Association which will be shared equally among all ParalympicsGB gold medal winners
• Royal Mail will also issue a set of stamps on 29 August to celebrate the start of the Paralympic Games, another first for any postal administration
• Royal Mail has showcased all the sports disciplines that will be seen in this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, in three sets of stamps counting down to the London 2012 Games