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Paralympic diversity and inclusion day

Following the return of the ParalympicsGB athletes from Pyeongchang 2018 with a record haul of medals, bp hosted an internal diversity and inclusion day in Sunbury, based on the winter Paralympics

The morning began with a networking breakfast followed by a panel discussion chaired by Peter Duff, head of diversity & inclusion (EMEA). The panellists were Lord Chris Holmes, parliamentarian and nine times Paralympic gold medallist; Richard Whitehead, double Paralympic champion and bp athlete ambassador; Sophie Warner, Paralympian and TV presenter; plus Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide Jennifer Kehoe – Britain's most decorated winter Paralympians who won gold, two silvers and a bronze in Pyeongchang.

 

The panel considered how bp's support for the British Paralympic Association and ParalympicsGB athletes can inform the company's vision for inclusion and accessibility.

Richard Whitehead with Sophia Warner
You can learn a lot by employing people with disabilities. They have something different to bring to the table, not least of all by making disability normal.Richard Whitehead,double Paralympic champion and bp athlete ambassador
It's about being differently abled and how you can excel.Menna Fitzpatrick,alpine skier and Team GB's most decorated Winter Paralympian
Menna Fitzpatrick
Talent is everywhere but opportunity isn't yet.Lord Holmes,parliamentarian and nine times Paralympic gold medallist
Being a Paralympic athlete taught me to be the best person I can.Sophia Warner,Paralympian and TV presenter
Sophia Warner

After the discussion there was time to talk to guests, take selfies and acquire autographs. This was followed by a three hour competitive curling match on imitation ice. Around 50 teams took part, learning how to slide granite stones closer to the target or 'house'. Prizes were awarded to the winners – two women and, in second place – two men.

 

All the athletes – Paralympic and bp staff – took heart from Menna Fitzpatrick's view, 'Part of an athlete's duty is to inspire the next generation. Go out, be determined and you can make it!'