MORE than 200 participants have signed up for the annual Paralympic Personal Bests (Para PBs).

The event is returning to Winchester Sports and Leisure Park on Thursday, September 14 for athletes with learning difficulties, autism and physical disabilities.

Chief executive of Winchester Go LD (Learning Disabilities), Betty Chadwick, said: “It’s about celebrating the success and achievements of all the participants.

“It's also a brilliant day for volunteers - who join the participants in supporting enthusiasm, courage and joy throughout the event.

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“The focus is on inclusion and in forming connections to ongoing regular sporting activities. Consistent activity is such an important part of maintaining good physical and mental well-being. The legacy of the Para PBs is getting more people into regular exercise is a really big part of what the event's about.

“We are delighted that we have introduced six regular Winchester Go LD runners to the Winchester parkrun since last year's event.”

Organisations bringing participants with learning disabilities this year include Winchester Go LD, Minstead Trust, QE2, Reach Out Caring, James’ Place Eastleigh and Basingstoke, Gosport Community Link, MCD Care Clients, Keystone Havant, Teals, The Grow Project, The Boaz Project, Osborne School, and Peter Symonds College.

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Groups and individuals join a country team for the day and each team tries out different sports such as swimming, football, cricket, rugby, dance, racket sports, yoga and low-level circuits.

Participants are awarded with a medal and certificate for achieving outcomes beyond their original personal best.

Swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton, 20, a double Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion in S6 events, including Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham, will be presenting the awards.

Event partners include Winchester City Council, the University of Winchester, Winchester Go LD and hosts Everyone Active.

The event starts at 10am with a group warm-up and will close following the presentations at 3pm.

For more information