Photo: AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Australian para-athletes bound for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will benefit from a $12 million funding boost aimed at making it easier for them to achieve their dreams on the world stage.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said our Paralympic team was one of the best in the world.
“Our team is an inspiration to all Australians, especially those who are conquering their disability and we are backing them for success at Tokyo 2020,” Mr Morrison said.
“Their efforts continue to boost participation in para-sports, increased recognition for para-athletes but most importantly encourage all those living with a disability to be able to achieve whatever they set their minds to.
“This funding ensures that these role models have a competitive edge and have the best chance of success."
The package will see $8 million given to ensure one of Australia’s largest contingents of athletes gets the opportunity to play at the world’s premier event for athletes with a disability.
A further $4 million will be provided to support the construction of a Community, Education and Events Centre at Paralympic Australia’s Victorian base which is managed in partnership with the Essendon Football Club at Tullamarine. The new development will feature accessible training and accommodation facilities for para-athletes as well as a Paralympic museum.
Sport Minister Bridget McKenzie said our Paralympic Team was a source of huge inspiration to all Australians.
“By helping to secure their ongoing success through this funding, it will inspire more and more para-athletes to get involved in sport and physical exercise,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games not only integrated para-athletes with able-bodied athletes in the same program, it also featured amazing performances from our elite para-athletes.
“We want to build on the success of 2018 Winter Paralympic results where Simon Patmore won Australia’s first gold medal in 16 years and our Paralympians represent the best of our Australian values of dedication, hard work, excellence and good sportsmanship.
“This investment demonstrates our commitment to the Australian Paralympic Team.”
Paralympics Australia is preparing to send one of its largest ever teams to Tokyo 2020 with around 180 Para-athletes from 16 sports to be supported by pilots and guides for vision impaired athletes; ramp assistants for boccia athletes; coaches; managers; and medical, technical, and administration personnel.
The funding boost coincides with the launch of the new ‘Paralympics Australia’ brand which will continue to build on the huge momentum and growth that the Paralympic movement is experiencing.