Paralympics Australia has applauded the Federal Opposition’s recent statement that it will prioritise significant investment in sport for Australians with a disability if elected this Saturday.
Support to build pathways for more Para athletes through talent identification, classification and education will form the foundation of the AUD$6million ($4.17million/£3.2million/€3.7million) funding pledge unveiled in Melbourne.
Shadow Minister for Sport Don Farrell and Shadow Minister for Disability and Carers Carol Brown confirmed the Federal Opposition Labor Party would commit new funding to Paralympics Australia with a focus on improving pathways for a connected disability sport sector.
This would include expanding talent search opportunities. classification education and accreditation, a Paralympic education programme for schools, stronger engagement in disability sport for Indigenous Australians and the management of accredited Paralympic Sports Centres of Excellence.
Senator Farrell said: “This is a commitment we are immensely proud to make because it underlines the value of our Paralympic team within the broader fabric of Australian sport.
“This is not just about success at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“This is a package which promises long-term benefits for Australians with a disability who want to compete in sport at all levels.”
Senator Carol Brown said: “Australia has a successful history in sport for people with a disability and it is exciting to provide the opportunity to enhance that success for future generations.
“Para sport is experiencing a wave of momentum and we are committed to working with Paralympics Australia and other leading organisations in the disability sport sector to ensure this momentum is converted into long-lasting and meaningful change for Australians who want to compete in disability sport at the level of their choice.”
Paralympics Australia President Jock O’Callaghan said: “We are grateful that the Federal Opposition, led by the Honourable Bill Shorten, has recognised the ability of Paralympics Australia to deliver an outstanding return on investment.
“Paralympics Australia has a unique ability to connect the disability sport sector and ensure that the pathway of athletes with elite potential is clearer than ever.
“It is a role we are excited to have the opportunity to develop, in close consultation with our member organisations and our other sporting partners.”
Paralympics Australia chief executive Lynne Anderson added: “While success at the Paralympic Games will always remain our number one priority, a strong disability sport industry at all levels is something our organisation is fiercely committed to securing.”