Get ready: the Paralympics are almost here

LONDON has seemed a duller place since the Olympics came to an end. No chance of bumping into an Olympic medallist on your tube journey, and far fewer maroon shirt bedecked volunteers around to share a smile with. But it’s now just over a week until it all begins again – with a whole 11 days of Paralympic fun to be had.

Hot off the press, Mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled the cultural celebrations which will take place around the City whilst the wheelchair Basketballers do their stuff on court and “Blade runner” South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius returns to the track.

A mere hop, skip and a jump after the Opening ceremony on Wednesday – the Liberty festival kicks off on 1 September at several City hotspots including Potters Fields Park, right next to City hall. Featuring live music, dance, theatre and film from a leading showcase of disabled artists there will also be events going on at the Southbank Centre, the BFI, the National Theatre as well as Trafalgar Square.

The same day will see local and international DJs taking centre stage on the Riverside Terrace, Southbank Centre, playing a mix of music including electronica, world music and soul.

And the fun doesn’t end there. Running alongside the Paralympic Games from 29 August to 9 September, will be BT London Live in Trafalgar Square featuring live coverage of the Games on a giant screen. There will be daily stage appearances from Paralympic medallists and if you ever fancied yourself as a potential Olympian there’s even a chance to test out your hidden talents. Daily Have-a-go Paralympic opportunities include wheelchair basketball, judo, wheelchair tennis, sitting volleyball and athletics. With 2.3m of the 2.5m tickets available already sold, and organisers talking of a likely sell-out, this may be your only chance to get close to some of the action.

Get the lowdown on all the events at: www.molpresents.com

IF you’re keen to nab a bit of Olympic memorabilia for yourself in the Mayor’s Fund for London auction, then you’d better act quick. There’s just 12 days left to get your hands on the pinstriped City Wenlock. Signed by the charity’s patron Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the price for the bowler hat bedecked figure is currently at £6,560. If that’s beyond your budget, there’s still time to get your hands on a signed photo of Team GB’s bronze medallist diver Tom Daley. With 11 days left to bid, it’s currently priced at £305. Get in quick. If you want to get involved, and it’s all for a good cause, have a look at: http://memorabilia.london2012.com