Last week saw the launch of the inaugural para-athletics festival alongside the Diversity Games as part of a new competition concept known as Future Stars.
The Technological University of the Shannon Athlone hosted the event which included two days of indoor competition for primary and secondary pupils and saw the inclusion of para-athletes for the very first time. A collaboration between the Offaly Sports Partnership, Paralympics Ireland and Athletics Ireland showcased how easy it is to include para events and athletes within a regular athletics competition.
Speaking about the event Alison O’ Riordan, Para-Athletics Technical Lead with Paralympics Ireland said; “The atmosphere at the competition was fabulous and the feedback we have received from schools and parents has been very positive. We hope to build on this great start and expand the competition offer in future years to include more events for more para-athletes giving them improved and equal access to athletics opportunities alongside their peers.
The para-athletics festival is one of a number of great para-athletics initiatives that will be introduced this year. The next one is a What is…. Para-Athletics webinar series, for anyone that wants to learn more about the sport. Keep your eyes posted for details on how to sign up.”
Thank you to Eamonn Henry and his team at the Offaly Sports Partnership for embracing this and running this competition and to Athletics Ireland and Sport Ireland for their support.