The Australian Paralympic Team’s Tokyo campaign has been provided with some welcome relief as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present significant challenges ahead of the Opening Ceremony on August 24.

Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Lynne Anderson thanked the Federal Government for its assistance in meeting the substantial additional expense of preparing and sending more than 350 athletes and officials to Tokyo and returning them safely.

Since the postponement of the Tokyo Paralympics last year, Paralympics Australia has incurred extensive costs associated with new COVID-safe measures, including medical, travel and quarantine requirements and the implementation of physical and mental health strategies and contingencies.

The Federal Government’s guarantee of $3.5 million in last night’s Federal Budget provides much-needed financial backing amid an otherwise challenging campaign.

“The Federal Government and, in particular, Sports Minister Richard Colbeck are highly valued and strong supporters of Australia’s Paralympic athletes. We are deeply appreciative that the Government has recognised the Tokyo Games have presented us with a whole set of unforeseen and extremely complex circumstances,” Anderson said.

“The pandemic has been tough but it has also brought out the best in our athletes, who have been adaptable and remained focused and committed to representing Australia on the world stage in the best possible way.

“The new COVID-related costs we have incurred and the exposure they have created have been a genuine concern for Paralympics Australia. However, by providing this financial guarantee, the Federal Government has yet again acknowledged the value our Para-athletes provide to the nation. There are many Para-athletes around the country and people working tirelessly at Paralympics Australia who are feeling gratitude for the Government’s support and are able to continue to keep our full focus on ensuring our Australian Team attends the Games safely and performs to the best of their abilities.”

Posted: 12 May 2021