Beijing Bound Paralympic Athletes receive Sport NI send off...
Athletes attended a Sport Northern Ireland reception in the Sports Institute at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown to wish them well as they prepare to leave for the Beijing Paralympic Games in China on Tuesday 22 July. Eight elite athletes across four sports from Northern Ireland will be competing at the Beijing Paralympics which get underway on 6 September 2020.
Welcoming the athletes, Dominic Walsh, Acting Chair of Sport Northern Ireland said: “Participation in the Beijing Paralympics is a tremendous opportunity for all our athletes. As the lead agency for the development of sport in Northern Ireland we are delighted to be supporting the athletes attending the Paralympics. I congratulate you on your selection for the Games. You have all worked and trained extremely hard to qualify and it is tremendous honour that you should be very proud of.”
“Huge credit must also go to the coaches and support staff whose commitment and dedication has also helped all the athletes.” He concluded: “I wish you all every success; I hope you all achieve your own personal goals and encourage you to enjoy the experience!”
President of the Paralympic Council of Ireland, Mr. Tony Guest said: “We are delighted that our team size has grown considerably. It reflects the positive work being done in support of Paralympic sport by Sport NI and the Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI). We look forward to developing further links with Sport NI and SINI to further develop Paralympic Sport in the build up to London 2012.”
The Paralympic Games are elite sports events for athletes with physical disabilities, or visual impairment, emphasising athletic achievement rather than disability. Approximately 4000 athletes, from over 153 countries across twenty sports will compete at the Beijing Games. Athletes will compete in various classes of competition and are classified according to their disability.
Notes to Editors:
Northern Ireland Athletes attending Beijing Paralympics:
Michael McKillop, Irish Paralympic Team – Athletics
Jason Smyth, Irish Paralympic Team – Athletics
Eilish Byrne, Irish Paralympic Team – Equestrian
Mark Jones, Irish Paralympic Team – Football 7-A-Side
Hannah Clarke, Irish Paralympic Team - Swimming
Stephen Campbell, Irish Paralympic Team - Swimming
Johnny Cummings, Irish Paralympic Team - Swimming
Karen Cromie, Team GB - Rowing