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Trafalgar Square to host pre-2012 Paralympics celebration

London is to host a high-profile international event showcasing Paralympic sport, a year before the 2012 games themselves take centre stage in the capital.

International Paralympic Day will take place in Trafalgar Square on Thursday 8 September, the day before ticket applications open for the London 2012 Paralympics.

Members of the public will be able to meet British and international Paralympic athletes, and find out more about the 20 Paralympic sports.

International Paralympic Day is usually held in Germany every two years, but Paralympic chiefs decided to hold this year’s event in London as part of the build-up to London 2012.

Tim Reddish, chair of the British Paralympic Association, said: “London 2012 for us is about more than just chasing down every medal that we can.

“It’s about putting Paralympic sport firmly on the map so that the nation sees and appreciates our brilliant sportsmen and women.

“International Paralympic Day is a great way of helping that engagement process and we’re thrilled to be involved.”

Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said: “The last International Paralympic Day was held in front of the Brandenburg Gate [in Berlin] so it’s fantastic that this year the event will be held in another iconic location.”

Lord [Seb] Coe, chair of the London 2012 organising committee, said the event would be “a fantastic way for the public to learn more about Paralympic sports and get a taster of the excitement that they will witness during the Paralympic Games in 2012”.