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Australia Announces Centre for Paralympic Excellence

Greg Hartung, President of the Australian Paralympic Committee recognized the Australian Institute of Sport as the country’s first Centre for Paralympic Excellence.

Greg Hartung Greg Hartung is the President of the Australian Paralympic Committee. © • Australian Paralympic Committee
By IPC

“As a success story in Australian sport, it is hard to go past the impact of the AIS on Paralympic Sport.”

President of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) Greg Hartung officially announced the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) as the country’s first Centre for Paralympic Excellence on Monday (16 July).

Joined by Federal Minister for Sport, Senator Kate Lundy, and AIS Director Matt Favier, Hartung made the announcement in Canberra during the launch of the Australian Paralympic Sports Centres programme.

The APC program recognizes Australian organizations which provide exemplary support of Australia’s Paralympic athletes and Hartung said it was highly appropriate for the Australian Institute of Sport to become the first recipient of accreditation.

“As a success story in Australian sport, it is hard to go past the impact of the AIS on Paralympic Sport,” Hartung said.

“The AIS has supported Australian Paralympic athletes since 1988 and continues to nurture some of the best Paralympic athletes in the world. The 2012 Australian Paralympic Team will consist of 32 current or former AIS scholarship holders, with many of them holding genuine hopes for a Paralympic medal in London.

“At the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, AIS athletes made up a quarter of the Australian Paralympic Team but won half of Australia’s medals, including 74 per cent of our gold medals.”

Under the APC Paralympic Sports Centres program, accreditation is provided across three levels ranging from Paralympic participation, to Paralympic preparation and Paralympic excellence.

At the core of the selection criteria is each organization’s ability to provide sustained support to athletes with an impairment by improving the pathway toward Paralympic selection.

Centres achieve accreditation through the consistent delivery of essential services including coaching, equipment and classification, as well as opportunities to access suitable training and competition.

Following the announcement, the APC will work to create a national network of centres to help form a fully integrated sport system for people with an impairment, while providing a measure of quality assurance through accreditation and review.