Dear Para-athletes, colleagues and friends,

The Paralympic movement is built on resilience and right now, that resilience is being tested.

The Australian Paralympic Team is built on support for one another, across all sports, and that support has never been more important.

At Paralympics Australia, we are acutely aware that everyone involved with the Australian Paralympic Team – most notably our Para-athletes, coaches and support staff – are now facing a lot of uncertainty ahead of Tokyo 2020.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we acknowledge that speculation about the Games is growing, and with it, so is the strain on everyone aiming for Tokyo.

As a Paralympic community, we have all faced challenges before and found ways to overcome them. Let’s work together now to help each other through this one.

With the IOC and IPC still committed to staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games as planned, against a backdrop of postponements, cancellations, travel bans and shutdowns worldwide, the coming days and weeks will require our Paralympic community to engage meaningfully, communicate openly, and support each other to meet the challenge ahead of us.

To be clear, our preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games continue at pace. In fact, they have intensified in light of the developing landscape. While we acknowledge that the daily training environments and the motivation levels may have changed for many of our athletes in recent days, please know that we continue to do everything we can to provide you with an optimal environment to reach your potential.

Above all else, the physical and mental health of every individual within the Australian Paralympic Team, and the people who surround us, will always remain the number one priority for Paralympics Australia.

This period in our history is so much bigger than sport. The IOC and IPC are continually monitoring the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to make decisions based on the best advice available from the World Health Organisation. In Australia, we are engaging closely with health authorities at various levels and continue to collaborate with our colleagues at the Australian Institute of Sport and Australian Olympic Committee.

And while there are many decisions to be made by higher authorities as the situation continues, one decision that will always remain firmly within the control of our Paralympic community is the decision to always provide unwavering support, along with our partners, to everyone impacted by this unprecedented crisis.

Please keep well, keep looking after yourself and your families, and please know that our community is always here for you and with you.

Yours sincerely,

Lynne Anderson
Chief Executive Officer
Paralympics Australia

Kate McLoughlin
Chef de Mission
2020 Australian Paralympic Team

Annabelle Williams
Chair
Paralympics Australia Athlete Commission

Posted: 20/03/2020

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