British Paralympics, Purple and I

The British Paralympic Association (BPA) has just announced the appointment of the Purple Agency as its digital agency following a four way pitch. The contract, which runs for four years until Rio 2016, will see Purple lead the strategic planning and development of all of the BPA’s online channels and key digital assets.

There is a fantastic vibe here in the Purple office on this news and the whole place is buzzing with excitement at this opportunity.  For me personally though, this is something extra special.

Way back in 1984, I was a volunteer at The Paralympic Games. For whatever reason, the USA was unable to host a huge chunk of the games, and left the UK, and in particular Stoke Mandeville Stadium, only a few months to organise and host a Paralympic Games.

It was chaotic, fun, and a hugely rewarding time. I worked in the Sports Equipment department, with a chap called Bob Wells. We spent the day setting up weightlifting stages and weights, moving archery bosses, laying out marathon courses, building huge great metal Basketball frames (for the hoops). Basically, anything that required an event, or venue to be set up, cleaned up, taken away or moved. The days were long, the work was hard graft and it was all good fun. I have very fond memories of that summer, and learned a lot about team work.

I had got into volunteering via my father, Cliff Last, who was the Technical Officer for the games, and put in a huge amount of effort to organise the events. He was so passionate about being involved, from the early days working closely with Sir Ludwig Guttman, and as a wheelchair basketball referee, up through coaching the British Wheelchair Basketball team, on to being the British Team Manager, and finally as Technical Officer for the British Sport Association for the Disabled.

Sadly he passed away only a few years ago, but I know he would be overjoyed that a member of our family is once again part of this great event. Through him, this became an integral part of my childhood, and it's heart-warming to be part of it again.

I am delighted that we are involved in such a fascinating and rewarding project, and I look forward to once again contributing to one of the world’s most inspiring, thrilling, and awesome sporting events. I know my colleagues are all thrilled to be involved in this project too.

The passion and excitement for this project is also apparent from the British Paralympic Association. Jane Jones, marketing & communications director, says: “The Purple Agency very clearly understood our brand and how that could be transmitted to our core audiences with very specific content. Their commitment went right across their business – and their ability to harness the latest technology and apply that to the needs of the BPA, its supporters and users, was also extremely good.”

With such passion abound in the Purple Agency, and the chance to work with the British Paralympics Association, the whole team and I are raring to go and start delivering.

Stu Last: Senior Web Developer at The Purple Agency
Stu gets right in to the code that drives the Purple Agency’s websites.  He is passionate about getting the best possible solution for the job at hand, and gets a real kick out of solving problems, learning new stuff, and finding out more about the creative side of  Purple. Stu describes his appointment at Purple as a “rare opportunity to work with great people, on great projects, doing a job that you love”.