At the Burns Supper in January 2012 we launched the “GREAT Britain” 2012 Paralympic Appeal, coinciding with the year of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games. The aim of this joint initiative with the British Embassy was to raise HUF 11,000,000 to buy a specially equipped bus for Hungary’s Junior Paralympic Team.
Being a sport-related appeal we enlisted the aid of the Budapest Sport Office (BSI), organisers of the 19th K&H marathon and half-marathon relay held in June 2012. The staff at the BSI were extremely helpful, and together with our hospitality sponsors we managed to host a tent on Parliament Square for the many companies and representatives of the diplomatic corps who donated money for this special cause and took part in one of the various marathon formats, either individually or as part of a team.
The appeal target was finally reached in October 2012, and the Citroën Jumper 33 L2H2 minibus was officially handed over to the Hungarian Paralympic Committee on 22 November 2012.
On this occasion, HE Mr Jonathan Knott, UK Ambassador to Hungary and Patron of the “GREAT Britain” 2012 Paralympic Appeal said: “With this joint project we wanted to demonstrate the importance of the rights of disabled people, and raise the awareness of how sport can enrich lives, increase confidence and develop community relations. We are proud that the United Kingdom is one of the champions of supporting people’s rights with disabilities. I will remain dedicated to continue actively supporting human rights in the future.”
President of the Hungarian Paralympic Committee, Zsolt Gömöri, emphasised how thankful the Committee was for the generous donation. Paralympic gold medal swimmer Tamás Sors showed the bus to the public and drove the vehicle’s first passengers around Széchenyi square.
The RBIF would like to thank the British Embassy and our corporate sponsors, particularly Vodafone, BP, Provident, Process Solutions and TG Italiano, for their fantastic assistance during the year in helping us bring this appeal to a successful conclusion.
Douglas Arnott, Chairman of the Paralympic Appeal Committee
To find out more about how it feels to run a marathon, this is the story of RBIF’s very own Marathon Man.