Paris 2024 is now less than two years away and it stepped a little closer yesterday with the news that Paralympics Ireland and the Sport Ireland Institute have confirmed a new partnership that sees the Sport Ireland Institute appointed as the Official Performance Support Partner to Team Ireland.

Paris 2024 Paralympic Games hopefuls will benefit from the world-class facilities and expertise of the Sport Ireland Institute as a result of the new partnership.

Irish Paralympians will be able to avail of an enhanced level of support through the Sport Ireland Institute throughout their qualification and preparation for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

The partnership has been established following 12 months of consultation between Paralympics Ireland and the Sport Ireland Institute, and referencing the Tokyo 2020 Review, to agree on the best pathway forward to continue the success of Team Ireland at the Paralympic Games.

The agreement also introduces a Paralympic Leadership Group that will include senior representatives from Paralympics Ireland and Sport Ireland. The group will provide concerted expertise, advice and support for Para-athletes as they progress towards the Paralympic games.

Additionally, Antonia Rossiter (Performance Physiologist), from the Sport Ireland Institute, recently appointed as Deputy Chef de Mission for Performance Support, will lead a newly established Paralympics Ireland Sport Science and Medicine Working Group.

The partnership which is called, ‘Paralympic Partnerships, to Paris and Beyond’ will provide Paralympics Ireland with Institute services including strategic high-performance leadership support and delivery of a sport science and medicine support system, inclusive of athlete life skills support.

There will be specific athlete support and programme enhancement initiatives for all Team Ireland Paralympic Teams, as well as enhanced sport science support to Paralympics Ireland’s Para-Athletics and Para-Swimming programmes.

“Paralympics Ireland is pleased to announce this new partnership with the Sport Ireland Institute that ensures that our Paralympians and future Paralympians will enjoy the world-class support available from the Sport Ireland Institute,” said Paralympics Ireland President Eimear Breathnach

“This partnership is the result of over a year of discussions between both organisations, the hallmark of which was the shared ambitions by all concerned for Para athletes to receive all the support necessary to compete against the best in the world.”

“Sport Ireland has supported the development of Irish para-sport since the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games and has been a key partner in the advancement of para-athlete performance since with a range of supports to Para athletes, Paralympics Ireland and the NGBs,” added Dr Una May, CEO of Sport Ireland.

“I am pleased to see the Sport Ireland Institute being appointed as the Official Performance Support Partner to Team Ireland, further enhancing our support to Paralympics Ireland for the Paris 2024 Games.”

“With the expertise and experience of the Paralympics Ireland staff and the Institute service provider team collaborating on a more integrated basis, there is great potential to impact athlete performance in qualifying and competing for Paris 2024.”

“As performance standards in Paralympic sport continue to soar with every passing Paralympic Games, it is vital we take every opportunity to support Irish Para athletes in their quest to qualify and compete at the Paris Games,” said Liam Harbison, Director of the Sport Ireland Institute and a former CEO of Paralympics Ireland.

“I am delighted that Paralympics Ireland have taken this significant step to partner with the Sport Ireland Institute to provide integrated support for the duration of the cycle. In doing so a greater level of support will be provided by a range of key personnel to Para athletes across the range of sport science and life skills services at the Institute.”

“This is an important announcement for the athletes that will comprise Team Ireland at the Paris 2024 Games,” concluded Neasa Russell, Chef de Mission for Paris 2024.

“We have always competed strongly and successfully against the best that the world has to offer and I am confident that, with the support of the Sport Ireland Institute, we can continue to do so to Paris and Beyond.”