Channel 4 has announced full details of its extensive coverage of this summer biggest para-sport events as the broadcaster continues its commitment to the Paralympic movement ahead of Rio 2016.
The UK’s exclusive Paralympic broadcaster will screen extensive coverage of four events throughout July and August, including the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in London, the IPC European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven, the IPC European Athletics Championships in Swansea and London’s National Paralympic Day.
The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games is taking place at London’s iconic royal Horse Guards Parade and The Mall on Sunday, July 20 and will feature athletics stars from both para and able-bodied disciplines.
Channel 4 will bring viewers all the action from the afternoon track, field, and road races featuring some of the world’s best athletes including Jonnie Peacock, Hannah Cockcroft, David Weir, Greg Rutherford and double Olympic Gold winner Mo Farah – viewers’ last chance to see Mo take to the track before he heads to Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games.
Coverage of this special event will be presented by Jonathan Edwards and Ade Adepitan, with Daráine Mulvihill reporting from trackside, Iwan Thomas will be sampling the atmosphere of the crowd, while John Rawling and Katharine Merry provide commentary.
The afternoon action will be screened live on Channel 4, while the evening schedule of events will be streamed live online via channel4.com.
Next up is the IPC European Swimming Championships, which are being held in Eindhoven in the Netherlands from August 4-10, with highlights set to be broadcast throughout the week on Channel 4, More4 and online at Channel4.com.
Four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds will lead a strong British team including Josef Craig and Jessica-Jane Applegate, who will be aiming to add European golds to their World and Paralympic titles, as well as World champion and one of several teenagers on team GB, Amy Marren.
Rachael Latham will be presenting from the poolside whilst former Paralympic champion Giles Long will provide expert comment and commentary.
The fourth IPC European Athletics Championships are taking place in Swansea, Wales from August 19-23 and live coverage will be broadcast daily on More4.
An impressive selection of Britain’s leading athletes will take part, among them Jonnie Peacock, Hannah Cockroft, Richard Whitehead and David Weir, all of them heroes of The London Paralympic Games who are now half way through their preparations for Rio 2016.
From the continent, top stars include Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop (Ireland), Mare-Amelie Le Fur (France), Marlou van Rhijn (Netherlands) and Marcel Huq (Switzerland), who will be renewing his thrilling rivalry with David Weir.
Jonathan Edwards and Ade Adepitan will present More4’s live coverage, with John Rawling, Katharine Merry and Danny Crates leading the commentary team.
Channel 4 will also be broadcasting National Paralympic Day, which returns for its second year to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday, August 30, with highlights of the event presented by Rachel Latham.
The day will see celebrations take place across the country, including a free family festival in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, showcasing the very best in disability sports and arts.
Sporting superstars of London 2012 will return to excite spectators of boccia, goalball, swimming and wheelchair basketball.
The Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival, the annual showcase of deaf and disabled artists, will include an exciting line-up of street theatre, dance, live music, film, installations and children’s activities.
Coverage of these four events follows on from Channel 4’s comprehensive coverage of Sochi 2014, the biggest ever UK TV commitment to Winter Paralympic Games, and two years on from its ground-breaking, BAFTA winning coverage of the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Last year it was announced that Channel 4 has secured the exclusive UK television rights for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Sport said: “We’re thrilled to build on the success and scale of Channel 4’s ground breaking coverage of Sochi 2014 and London 2012 Paralympics by bringing viewers all the action from this summer’s major para-sport events.
“Our coverage has a proven positive impact on changing perceptions towards disability and disability sport whilst providing para-sport, its athletes and our new disabled talent with unprecedented new platforms.
“We look forward to welcoming them back to Channel 4 in the coming months and in the run up to the excitement of Rio.”
In the lead up to the 2012 Games, Channel 4 identified and trained new presenters and reporters with disabilities who have since become familiar faces with Channel 4 viewers, featuring in a range of programming, with some of the team returning this summer to front its para-sport coverage.
IPC president Sir Philip Craven commented: “We are delighted that Channel 4 continue to lead the way with their award winning coverage of para-sport.
“This summer is an extremely busy one with European Championships in swimming and athletics, as well as the Anniversary Games and National Paralympic Day.
“It’s fantastic news that Channel 4 will be showing coverage from all these events helping us to build on the success of London 2012 and Sochi 2014 and raise the profile of para-sport and its tremendous athletes.
“Swansea 2014 will be the first major para-sport event to held in Great Britain since London 2012 and viewers are in for a real treat with some of the world’s best athletes taking to the track and the field.”
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, said: “It is fantastic to see National Paralympic Day featured in such an exciting summer line-up on Channel 4.
“Coverage from the event will mean more people can tune in to catch all the action and enjoy the excitement of National Paralympic Day.
“Our ambition for the day is for as many people as possible to relive the excitement and wonder of London 2012, and to keep the public’s support for ParalympicsGB growing as we move towards Rio 2016.”
Niels de Vos, chief executive of British Athletics added: “We are delighted to be working with Channel 4 on the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games coverage.
“From their ground breaking broadcast of the Paralympic Games in 2012, through to their support of our Para athletics events of last summer, they have continued to lead the way in innovative sport presentation.
“This year’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games will be broadcast from Horse Guard’s Parade and The Mall and we are looking forward to working with Channel 4 to bring this unique and memorable event to a new audience.”
Visit channel4.com/paralympics for further details about its coverage and for the latest news and features on para-sport.