By Duncan Mackay

Marie-Amélie Le Fur London 2012July 25 - French car giant Renault has launched Team Handisport to sponsor three athletes on their journey to the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, it was announced today. 

The new team is comprised of three top athlete-ambassadors: Marie-Amélie Le Fur  (pictured top) in athletics, Elodie Lorandi in swimming and Alim Latrèche in fencing.

This initiative is part of the Handi@Renault scheme which promotes the social and professional integration of disabled persons both in the workplace and in society at large.

"The creation of a Renault disability sports team is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the physically disabled as well as our support for the sporting community, with which we share the same values of solidarity, performance, team spirit and open-mindedness," said Claire Martin, head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Renault.

The 24-year-old Le Fur won three medals at London 2012, including gold in the T44 100 metres, 

Elodie Lorandi, 24, struck gold in the S10 400m freestyle at London 2012, while 33-year-old Alim Latrèche was a member of France's team that won the team epee at Athens 2004 and was the winner of three medals, a silver and two bronze, last year.

Elodie Lorandi London 2012Elodie Lorandi won a Paralympic gold medal in the S10 400m freestyle at London 2012

The new ambassadors will be involved in various Renault events throughout the year, including many featuring employees to raise awareness about disabilities.

The creation of the Renault team provided is an extension of Renault's 16-year partnership with the Fédération Française Handisport (FFH), the French disability sports federation.

Renault provides financial support and loans a fleet of vehicles to transport the athletes.

In turn, FFH supports Renault's disability awareness-building and training actions for its employees.

Renault also supported Paralympics Ireland during its build-up to London 2012. 

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