The Morrison Government is urging all Australians to get behind the nation’s Paralympians as they prepare to compete at the Tokyo Games.
Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck said the Tokyo Paralympic Games represented another important opportunity for Australians to unite to celebrate the individual efforts of athletes who had overcome extraordinary odds.
“Just like their Olympic counterparts, the Australian Paralympic team is a source of enormous pride and inspiration to us all,” Minister Colbeck said.
“The path to Tokyo has not been easy and our athletes have showed great determination and spirit to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 to compete on one of the biggest sporting stages in the world.
“We are all looking forward to watching these Paralympic Games and the pride of Australia will be on show for the whole world to see.”
The team in Tokyo will be Australia’s largest ever at an overseas Paralympic Games and the biggest since Sydney 2000, with 179 athletes to compete across 18 sports including the debut disciplines of Para- taekwondo and Para-badminton.
Minister Colbeck said the size and depth of talent within the team is a credit to the Australian high performance sport sector.
“This is a team that includes soon-to-be seven-time Paralympians Danni de Toro and Christie Dawes, as well as 84 athletes making their Games debut,” he said.
“The success of our athletes very much depends on the team behind the team and the Australian Institute of Sport must be commended for its leadership in assisting sports and athletes manage the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He said the achievements of the team was also a reflection of the enormous contribution from Paralympics Australia board members including President Jock O’Callaghan, CEO Lynne Anderson, Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin and all of the Paralympic Australia support staff.
Minister Colbeck said the Morrison Government is proud to support our athletes in achieving their Paralympic dreams.
“Over 85 per cent of athletes competing in Tokyo have received direct grants through the AIS,” he said.
“In this year’s budget, our Government announced an additional $245.8 million for sport over and above our regular sports funding commitments, which includes an extra $136.3 million to support Australia’s high performance sport system and programs.”
The additional funding in recent years for Paralympics Australia and para-athletes includes:
- $3.5 million in 2021-22 to support Paralympics Australia to fund the additional costs associated with COVID-19 for athletes participating in the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
- $4.5 million in 2020-2021 and 2021-22 in increased funding direct to 13 Paralympic high performance programs in national sporting organisations to enhance preparations for Tokyo and beyond
- $8 million over three years from 2018-19 to support the Australian Paralympic Team prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
- $4 million over two years from 2018-19 to construct new facilities for para-athletes at the Essendon Football Club's 'The Hangar' facility, which is also Paralympic Australia's Victorian base.
- $310,370 over four years from 2018-19 for eligible Paralympic athletes who may have had their Disability Support Pension impacted as a result of training for events overseas.
“On behalf of the Australian Government, I would like to congratulate Paralympics Australia Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin and Chief Executive Lynne Anderson for their dedication and hard work in making these Games a reality,” Minister Colbeck said.
“I would also like to extend our thanks to the Government and people of Japan, who are preparing to once again warmly welcome our athletes to their shores.
“To our Paralympians, good luck. We will all be on the edge of our seats cheering you on.”
Show your support for our Paralympians on social media:
@AUSParalympics across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn;
@AUSParaTeam on YouTube.