London 2012 Paralympic Games to see record level of women

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has confirmed that a record number of female athletes will take part in the forthcoming London Games.

It is expected that a total of 1,512 women will be involved in the sporting event in 18 different disciplines. This is more than double the number that took part in the Barcelona Games in 1992.

The most recent Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008 saw entries from 1,383 females and it is a sign that the Paralympics are growing in popularity.

Sir Philip Craven, IPC president, said: "The Paralympic Movement has made great strides in recent years in regards to the inclusion of female athletes. This has allowed for greater gender equity and a fair chance for anyone to compete in Paralympic sport at the most elite level."

In 2002, the IPC created the IPC Women in Sport Committee (WISC) in an attempt to increase the number of females involved in the Paraympic movement. The WISC is made up of six people with experience of Paralympic sports and focuses on how to encourage girls and women at all levels of capability to try more sports as well as removing some of the barriers they may face.

One of the women taking part for Team GB is Ellie Simmonds. She won gold in the 400m freestyle and 100m freestyle at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics when she was just 13-years-old. Simmonds has gone on to win ten World Championship golds in 2009 and 2010 and five European golds in 2009.

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