"Staging camp is a great way to bring athletes into the host nation for the Games and to ease the transition into the high-pressure Games environment"
The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) has announced Kobe, Japan, as the host city of the Tokyo 2020 Australian Paralympic pre-Games staging camp.
Following an extensive search and a competitive bid process between four Japanese cities, Kobe was selected as the venue due to its ability to provide the Australian Paralympic Team with the most wheelchair accessible accommodation, as well as its accessible training and recovery venues.
The APC will now work together with Australia’s Paralympic sports to simulate a training and competition environment, to better enhance performance outcomes and continue to build on team culture.
“We’re really excited to announce Kobe as our staging camp for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Team,” said Lynne Anderson, Chief Executive of the Australian Paralympic Committee.
“APC staff travelled around Japan looking for the most suitable location, and what Kobe had to offer in terms of a high performance environment, great facilities and accessible accommodation for our athletes – it provided the ideal fit for what we are hoping to achieve during our 2020 staging camp.
“Staging camp is a great way to bring athletes into the host nation for the Games and to ease the transition into the high-pressure Games environment. It allows our team members to acclimatise, recover really well, get used to their environment and from a culture point of view, it allows the Australian team to create and grow that culture and that relaxed feeling within the team before an athlete goes into the Village,” Anderson said.
Kate McLoughlin, Chef de Mission of the 2020 Australian Paralympic Team, said the success of the Cardiff staging camp prior to the London 2012 Paralympic Games has given many of the sports confidence about the initiative, with 10 of the 18 sports already registering their interest.
“We know that the Paralympic Games is incredibly intense, and incredibly elite competition so the earlier we can put our plans into play, and prepare a great staging camp for our athletes and coaching staff, the better our team will be well-prepared and ready when they finally hit that stage,” McLoughlin said.
“While we chose not to deliver a staging camp for Rio 2016 for performance reasons within that environment, we know how instrumental the Cardiff pre-Games staging camp was to the success of the London Paralympic Team, not just in terms of medal success, but culture, and it’s great to see so many sports show enthusiasm for the idea once again.
“On the site visits we’ve had, it’s very obvious that Kobe and the Japanese people are excited to welcome the Australian Paralympic Team to their city. In particular, the people of Kobe have really embraced us, and we’re honoured to have Kobe as our partner in staging camp and beyond.”
As part of the agreement, Kobe will be providing the Australian Paralympic Team with free of charge training and recovery venues, transport, conference and meeting rooms, volunteers and interpreters.
While in Kobe, the APC will also distribute all uniforms, as well as announce the Opening Ceremony Flag Bearer. Sports not staging in Kobe will be encouraged to visit for both activities.