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Paralympics Australia is grateful to the Federal Government for its support for our Paralympic athletes and sports through Stream Two of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Preparation Fund, announced by Minister for Sport, Anika Wells, on Friday.

Paralympics Australia also wishes to thank the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and its Chief Executive Kieren Perkins for the direct assistance to empower specific Paralympic programs and athletes to achieve their best at Paris 2024 and beyond.

The $5 million boost is the second instalment of a $20 million commitment announced in July to provide resources to enhance medal potential and improve the performance of Australian athletes in Paris.

The ASC said more than 40 percent of Stream Two was allocated to Paralympic projects, including wheelchair rugby, boccia, Para-triathlon, Para-equestrian and Para-rowing.

Paralympics Australia acting-Chief Executive Kate McLoughlin said the funding would make a significant impact on Australia’s Games preparations.

“The standards of Paralympic competition are rapidly rising and if we are to maintain our place among the world’s top nations, we need to provide our athletes the tools to perform at their best,” said McLoughlin, who is also the Paris 2024 Australian Paralympic Team’s Chef de Mission.

“Specific, targeted funding for initiatives such as custom-made chairs for priority athletes in wheelchair rugby and additional coaching support and international exposure for our boccia team are prime examples of directed assistance that can have positive performance outcomes.

“Paralympics Australia thanks the Federal Government and the ASC for backing and encouraging Australia’s elite Para-athletes.”

Upon making the announcement earlier on Friday, Minister Wells said: “This is an important step on our path towards building the best sporting system in the world by Brisbane 2032.

“This critical second stream of the Paris 2024 Preparation Fund sees dozens of projects brought to life including game-changing initiatives such as custom chairs for our wheelchair rugby team.

“For many sports, the Paris 2024 Preparation Fund unlocks the one-percenters and for others, it opens the door to new Olympic and Paralympic aspirations.

“Underpinned by the Win Well pledge, it is about elevating the chances of Australians getting to the Paris starting line, achieving a personal best, or reaching the podium and, ultimately, delivering results that make Australia proud.”

Mr Perkins said: “We are delighted to be able to support our sports and athletes with this targeted funding which is set to make a tangible difference to so many people.

“Our athletes have made extraordinary sacrifices to get to where they are, and hopefully this additional funding support will help take them to the next level.

“I’d like to once again thank the Australian Government and Minister Wells for allowing the Australian Sports Commission to work closely with our sports to ensure these extra funds get to the Olympians and Paralympians who need it most as we enter the final stage of preparations before Paris.”

By: David Sygall, Paralympics Australia
Posted: 22 September 2023