The Irish Paralympic Team have launched a crowdfunding campaign to ensure a top class experience for the Irish Team in Rio; 46 Athletes from across Ireland are currently preparing for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, which take place from 7th to 18th September.
The Irish Government have supported the Paralympic team to the tune of €1.28 Million for the Games, but this leaves the team €25,000 short. This leaves the team unable to support the elite athletes, who are competing across 10 sports at the Games, from Athletics to Table Tennis.
The campaign, entitled “More than Sport,” is being used to fund preparations for the team, including athlete coaching, travel costs to & from sports-science/medical support and competitive kit. These, Team Ireland believe, will help ensure that they can compete to the best of their ability in Rio.
Team Ireland have been represented at the Paralympic Games since ‘Rome 1960’. At the last Paralympic Games (London 2012) the Irish Team had their best year since 1988, winning 16 Medals (eight gold, three silver and five bronze) with a team of 49 Athletes. They finished 19th overall on the medal table out of 164 competing countries. The team was also voted overwhelmingly as Ireland’s ‘Team of the Year’.
For supporting the crowdfunding campaign: a €10 donation gets you a digital download pack, which include a planner for all the events that feature Team Ireland Athletes; a €50 donation gets you the digital download pack & a T-shirt featuring the ‘Dreaming of Rio’ design by Luke Brennan. Higher donations will get you signed Team Picture prints and a ‘Dreaming of Rio’ Print with your name on it, or for €1000 a Paralympic Athlete will visit your workplace / event.
To date the campaign has raised €4,250 of its €25,000 goal on the PledgeSport website.
With the expulsion of the Russian Paralympic Team from the Paralympic Games following the McLaren Report, these Games will be a huge opportunity for Paralympic sport in Ireland to eclipse their past successes, as there will be a hope of more medals for Team Ireland.
Coverage from the 2016 Paralympic Games from Rio will be featured on RTÉ in the form of a nightly primetime show on RTÉ 2, and in-depth live coverage on Channel 4.