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Wales’ winning formula strengthens sporting links

8th September 2011

Wales’ winning formula strengthens sporting links

The Welsh Government and the Oceania Paralympic Committee have signed today a memorandum of understanding which will see all Oceanic Region Paralympic countries – Australia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands - locating to Wales prior to the 2012 Olympic Games.

First Minister Carwyn Jones has today (Thurs 8th Sept) joined New Zealand sporting legend Sir Murray Halberg and Jon Morgan from Disability Sport Wales to celebrate the developing sport relationships between Wales and New Zealand.

The event in Auckland also marks International Paralympic Day celebrations in New Zealand.

The First Minister said:

“Wales is committed to providing a first class environment for athletes and the combination of world class training facilities, proximity and quality of accommodation, access to state of the art support services together with a Welsh welcome that is second to none, is a compelling offer which has resulted in Paralympic athletes from many nations deciding to choose Wales.”

Disability Sport Wales and the Halberg Trust will be entering into a partnership which will further explore best practice between the two nations in the area of community disability sports development.

Jon Morgan from Disability Sport Wales said:

“Our partnership with Paralympic New Zealand and Halberg Trust provide a unique opportunity to create a legacy that lasts well beyond the lifetime of the London 2012 Games. What better time than on International Paralympic Day to announce this exciting initiative.”

Halberg Trust spokesperson Nicki Turner said:

“Wales is consistently achieving above expectations, right from grass roots participation through to elite Paralympic level. This is a reflection of the country’s commitment to prioritise disability sport across the board, and the partnership between Wales, Paralympics New Zealand and the Halberg Trust presents a great example of an international collaboration that will no doubt enhance New Zealand’s disability sport pathway – from participation to elite competition.”

The Halberg Trust in New Zealand provides opportunities for young disabled people to participate in sport and active recreation to play alongside their non-disabled friends.

Disability Sport Wales is the lead organisation for the development of sport and physical activities for disabled people in Wales. It has grown its community programme from 1,200 participation opportunities per year in 2002, to 980,000 in 2010/11.
• During this period, Welsh Paralympians representing Great Britain have doubled in number to 31 athletes in Beijing, where they won 25% of Team Great Britain’s gold medal haul.

For more Welsh Government news visit: www.wales.gov.uk/news

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ENDS

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