JUST A few short weeks after the successes of London 2012, Irish Paralympic opened its doors to prospective athletes at a Paralympics Talent Search Event, supported by Cadbury.
Over 400 people attended the successful event at UCD sport centre, which aimed to encourage people with a physical disability to get involved in sport, and to unearth potential Irish talent for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Athletes from Ireland's most successful Paralympic Team were present, including medalists Catherine Walsh, Mark Rohan, Helen Kearney and Michael McKillop, alongside 18 exhibiting sports and various demonstrations.
Amongst the sports on display at the event were Archery, Athletics, Boccia, Cycling, Equestrian, Football 5-a-Side, Football 7- a- Side, Judo, Powerlifting, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Tennis, amongst others. Cadbury Athlete Ambassador, Catherine Walsh, another double medallist at the Games said: 'As an athlete who has competed at six Paralympic Games, it's fantastic that we're already on the lookout for future talent.' Portmarnock native and Drogheda resident Liam Harbison, CEO of Paralympics Ireland, said: 'Our hope from the day is that people with a disability with an interest in sport might be inspired to develop their own athletic ability, perhaps get involved in sports clubs at local level, or even to go on and start the journey towards becoming part of a Paralympic squad of the future.'
The planning for Rio 2016 has now begun and Paralympics Ireland will look to build upon the unprecedented awareness of Paralympic sport and excitement created by London.