By Duncan Mackay

Allianz_logoJune 18 - Paralympics Ireland chief executive Liam Harbison has hailed the new sponsorship deal with Allianz Ireland which will help the team prepare for London 2012.

Ireland is one of eight countries to sign sponsorship deals with the insurance giant as part of a deal that has seen the German company become the first worldwide partner of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The extensive deal incorporates Allianz partnership with the IPC and no less than eight National Paralympic Committees which, besides Ireland, also includes Germany, Portugal, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Switzerland and Turkey.

"Allianz has been a huge partner to the Paralympic movement for a number of years," said Harbison.

"We are delighted that Allianz have decided to extend their support of Paralympic sport to Paralympics Ireland and the Irish Paralympic team along with seven other national Paralympic Committees around the world.

"We are very excited by Allianz's plans to promote the awareness of the elite sporting success of Irish Paralympians in the build up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games."

Brendan Murphy, the chief executive of Allianz Ireland added: "Allianz support for Paralympics goes beyond a straight forward sponsorship.

"This will be a combined global effort to support the Paralympic Movement with a particular focus on the London 2012 games and the legacy for the sport that those Games will bring.

"Allianz has been a global partner for five years but this new opportunity is unique in that we can now activate on a national level to bring our resources to bear on the preparations of our Irish elite athletes as they get ready to compete on the biggest stage in world sport.

"The fact that the Games will be in London only adds to the excitement as this will be the closest we get to a 'home' Games in most of our lifetimes and we're thrilled to be supporting such an inspiring and talented team of elite athletes at Paralympics Ireland."

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