The National Lottery funding of the London 2012 Paralympics The National Lottery funding of Great Britain’s Paralympic athletes

London 2012 Paralympic Games

The funding went towards the staging of the 2012 Paralympic Games, which was held in London from 29 August to 9 September and saw over 4,200 athletes from 150 countries compete in 20 sports. After the Olympics, the Paralympics is the world’s second biggest multi-sport event and the most high-profile platform for disability sport globally.

The 2012 Paralympics was the largest disability sports event ever staged, was the first-ever Paralympic Games to sell out all of its tickets and was widely acclaimed as the greatest Paralympics to date.

The 2012 Paralympic Games delivered inspiration and excitement, as many were exposed to elite disability sport for the first time. In the UK, it was attributed with successfully driving a shift in perception of disability. An Ipsos Mori poll undertaken after the Paralympic Games indicated that eight in 10 British adults felt that the Paralympics 2012 had a positive impact on the way disabled people are viewed by the public, while three in four Britons said the Paralympics had a positive effect on the mood of the British public.


National Lottery funding supported over 300 Paralympic athletes, and the National Governing Bodies that they represent, over the four-year build-up to London 2012, to ensure that they arrived at the Paralympic Games able to maximise their performance and to deliver a record number of medals.

This funding ensured that athletes were able to concentrate on their training, as well as guaranteed that they benefitted from world-class coaching, facilities, equipment and medical support.

Nearly nine out of 10 of athletes selected to represent ParalympicsGB at London 2012 had received support from The National Lottery. In addition, ParalympicsGB, as an organisation, also directly benefitted from funding that ensured it could host preparation camps for the team in the build-up to the Games.

ParalympicsGB went on to a deliver a record 120 medals at London 2012, a total only surpassed by China.

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Project details

  • Scope: To provide £66 million in funding required for London to host the London 2012 Paralympic Games – the world’s most high-profile disability sports event. To provide Great Britain’s Paralympic athletes, and their National Governing Bodies, with £49 million in funding from 2008-2012 in order to ensure world-class support in the build-up to London 2012.
  • Recipients: The London 2012 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 18 National Governing Bodies and over 300 individual athletes
  • Duration: The funding for the staging of the London 2012 Paralympics was a one-off award. The funding for Great Britain’s Paralympians has been in place since 1997 and will continue through to Rio 2016 and beyond.
  • Main Objectives: The delivery of a world-class Paralympic Games For Great Britain’s athletes to win a record number of Paralympic medals
  • Country/is of Application: UK
  • Sources of funding/sponsors: The National Lottery was the biggest contributor to the staging of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, alongside a range of commercial partners. The National Lottery was the biggest funder of Great Britain’s Paralympic athletes, alongside Government and a number of commercial partners.