The UK’s leading energy supply and in-home servicing provider, British Gas has signed a new five-year collaboration with ParalympicsGB and the British Olympic Association that will last until the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028.
British Gas, as an official energy services partner, will provide vital assistance to ParalympicsGB and Team GB as they finalize the necessary preparations for Paris 2024 and beyond. With less than a year until the Olympic and Paralympic Games return to Europe, the alliance aims to inspire young individuals and athletes to take action and make a positive impact for themselves and their local communities.
To commence the collaboration, an innovative school initiative called ‘Get Set for Positive Energy’ will seek to connect with up to one million young people and families throughout the UK. Get Set, launched by ParalympicsGB and Team GB as the official education project during London 2012, currently provides a wide range of free, cross-curricular tools and activities for schools and community groups around the country.
The free initiative, created by educational professionals, leverages the joint power of ParalympicsGB, Team GB, and British Gas to educate young people and their communities about the role that individuals can all play in saving energy and building a greener future. The initiative also aims to motivate primary school students to use their positive energy to effect change and develop good habits for the future.
With schools required to have a climate action plan in place by 2025, the program will assist teachers in offering a variety of free learning tools that can be readily implemented as part of an extensive green educational strategy.
Primary school students in the UK will also have the opportunity to participate in a unique challenge in 2024 when they will be able to put their academic skills to the test by revamping their educational settings to be more sustainable.
British Gas is also working on a ‘Pathways’ initiative to connect former athletes with crucial new employment prospects inside the company. This program allows players to apply the skills and disciplines they learned throughout their sporting careers to new positions within the British Gas workforce.
Jack Hunter-Spivey, a ParalympicsGB Table Tennis bronze medallist from Tokyo 2020, commented, “The Get Set programme is incredible! Not only does it get children involved in sport whatever their ability, it will also enable them to become knowledgeable about the environment, setting them up with skills that will be of huge value to society in years to come. The mural is so inspiring, and it’s a pleasure to kick this initiative off in the great city of Liverpool!”
Katarina Johnson-Thompson, World Champion Heptathlete, said, “To be involved in Get Set for Positive Energy and return to my old school to help inspire the next generation is such an honour. The programme enables kids from across the UK to learn more about how we can be more energy efficient, which is naturally essential for a greener future, so I’m delighted to help play a small part by launching the partnership at my primary school, St Mark’s.”
David Clarke, CEO of ParalympicsGB, said, “With less than a year to go to Paris 2024 this partnership is a huge boost to our ambition of taking a best prepared team to the Paralympic Games to excite and inspire the nation and break down barriers for disabled people in the UK. It is a partnership with a critical wider purpose too, empowering people with the knowledge they need to move towards a more sustainable future through Get Set for Positive Energy and scoping a Pathways programme offering retired athletes’ valuable skills as they transition to a new career.”
Andy Anson, Chief Executive of the BOA, said, “It is great for Team GB to be working with a major national brand in British Gas. As well as direct support for our athletes in getting them to the Olympic Games, the full potential of this partnership will be realised through the support for local communities in the UK, as we recognise that we need to work together to help each other on our journey to a more sustainable future.”
Chris O’Shea, Chief Executive of British Gas owner Centrica, said, “Our 20,000 UK team is strong because of its diversity – of skills, experience and identities. We know we need an energised workforce to tackle the energy efficiency challenges all communities are facing as we make the transition to Net Zero. Every day our people help deliver solutions that make this journey possible and make a real difference to the local economies of towns and cities nationwide. We’re proud to sponsor two of the UK’s most inspiring teams – Team GB and ParalympicsGB – and if any of the athletes want to join us in the future, we will give them the opportunity to do so.”
ParalympicsGB is the UK’s leading disability sports charity, and it depends on its business partners to provide a world-class environment in which athletes can accomplish their personal best achievements and tear down barriers for all handicapped people.
The British Olympic Association, being an entirely self-funded organization, relies on the assistance of its commercial partners, such as British Gas, to fund its efforts in transporting Team GB athletes to both the summer and winter Olympic Games.