Minister of State for the Department of Transport, Sport and Tourism Mr. Michael Ring T.D. was on hand at the RDS, Dublin today to announce the Irish Paralympic Team for the London2012 Paralympic Games which commence on 29th August.
The team consisting of 49 athletes, representing 20 different counties will compete across ten sports at the London Games and represents the largest Irish Team since Atlanta 1996. Amongst the 2012 Irish Paralympic team will be Providence Resources Irish Paralympic Sailors John Twomey, Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costello.
Speaking at the team announcement, Minister of State Michael Ring TD, commented “I would like to congratulate the 49 athletes on their selection for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Very few people get the opportunity to represent their country at such a high level. It’s a tremendous honour and the athletes, their families and friends should be very proud. I have no doubt that our athletes will be great ambassadors for Ireland and for their respective sports. I would like to extend my very best wishes to the team in their preparations for the Games.”
Paralympics Ireland CEO & Chef de Mission for the Irish Team, Liam Harbison, commented “Today’s team announcement is the culmination of a huge effort by everyone involved in Paralympic sport in Ireland. The preparation, coordination and management of the Irish Team is a huge task, which would not have been possible without the continuing support of the Irish Sports Council, Sport NI and our sponsors and partners. Their support has enabled us to prepare 49 athletes to compete and excel at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It’s time for us to make a return on the faith and investment placed in us by them all – we aim to deliver.”
Commenting on the Irish Paralympic Team’s performance goals at London2012, Paralympic Performance Director, Nancy Chillingworth, said, “The Irish Team aim to achieve great personal and collective success at the Games. The performances of the athletes in the qualification phase demonstrate that the performance targets for the Irish team of five medals and fifteen finalists set by the Beijing Review) are realistic and achievable. We’ve planned meticulously to ensure the correct environment is in place around each athlete at the Games to facilitate their optimum performance.”
The Irish Paralympic Team now head to Antrim for the first ever Paralympics Ireland training camp in Northern Ireland from June 28th – July 1st. They will attend the final Renault Ireland Team 2012 Training Camp in Limerick in August before heading to Portugal on August 16th for the ISC Pre-Games Holding Camp. The team will then travel directly from Portugal to take their place in the Paralympic Village in London on the 24th August in advance of the opening ceremony on the 29th August.
Live coverage of the London2012 Paralympics Games will be available on Freeview on Setanta Sports.
Please follow or send your messages of support to the Irish Paralympic Sailors on the ISA Olympic Twitter www.twitter.com/ISAOlympic
and also on the ISA Olympic Facebook page www.facebook.com/ISAOlympic.