PARALYMPICS IRELAND LAUNCHES NEW FUNDRAISING INITIATIVE ‘THE NEXT LEVEL’
The new campaign is calling on the public to help current and future Irish para-athletes to reach the next level
Paralympics Ireland has launched a new fundraising campaign to help Irish para-athletes reach the next level. ‘The Next Level’ campaign, which was launched live on last Friday evening’s The Late Late Show by Paralympics Ireland president, John Fulham, is calling on the public to support current and future Irish para-athletes to help them to reach the next level of their sport.
The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games has had a big impact on Paralympics Ireland, with additional costs of the postponement and Covid-19 estimated to rise to as much as €500,000. Paralympic sport internationally has made huge progress in recent years, with athletes enjoying a greater level of support in terms of finances and resources than at any other stage in the past. Competing against such rising standards globally is becoming increasingly difficult for Irish para-athletes. Paralympics Ireland is asking the Irish public to help bridge that gap by supporting its athletes and donating to the campaign via https://paralympics.ie/
Funds raised will be used to help remedy immediate costs, but the campaign also has the long-term focus of raising funds to help Team Ireland compete with the best in the world – not just in Tokyo, but also in Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028 and beyond. All funds raised will go towards increasing the levels of support that athletes receive. Those supports will be provided directly through provision of sports science and medical services, training camps or competitive opportunities, or indirectly through the provision of programmes and initiatives designed to bring through the next generation of Irish Paralympians.
The campaign was launched with four Irish para-athletes, Nicole Turner (Para-Swimming), Martin Gordon (Para-Cycling), Colin Judge (Para-Table Tennis) and Greta Streimikyte (Para-Athletics) and as well as support, also calls for equality of esteem, equality of respect and equality of admiration for para-athletes. A series of videos highlighting each of the four athletes in training scenarios is the centrepiece of the digital-led campaign. The videos showcase the huge effort and dedication that it takes to become an elite level para-athlete, striving to represent their country at the Paralympic Games. They are more than just elite athletes, they are more than role models, they represent human achievement at the next level. Each video will be released across the Paralympics Ireland social media channels and will invite members of the public to translate their vocal support for these athletes into action, by donating to The Next Level campaign.
This unique campaign will give the Irish public an opportunity to have a direct impact on Irish sporting achievements in a way that has never been available before. Every donor will know that they have played a major role in helping Irish Para Athletes achieve major results on the world stage.
Speaking about the launch of ‘The Next Level’ campaign Paralympics Ireland President, John Fulham said: “This is a really exciting campaign for Paralympics Ireland. We have never undertaken anything like this before, but I know that the Irish public will rally around our athletes as they have in the past. Irish Paralympians have provided some of the most memorable moments in Irish sport. They have lifted the spirits of a nation and have provided vital role models for the often-forgotten disability community in Ireland. This is an ambitious campaign that highlights our elite para-athletes and calls for greater recognition of their achievements. I know that the Irish public do equally value our athletes, but this is an opportunity to demonstrate that support and have a direct and positive impact on the future of Irish Paralympic sport.”
Miriam Malone, CEO of Paralympics Ireland added: “We are very pleased to launch our new awareness and fundraising campaign. We want to shine a light on the efforts and achievements of our elite Irish Para Athletes. London 2012 signalled the beginning of a dramatic increase in interest and support of Paralympic sport worldwide. We have seen increases in the funding and support available to our competitors around the world and we, at Paralympics Ireland, understand that we must do more to compete with other nations. There is obviously a focus on Tokyo 2020 and we are not shy about saying that there are €500,000 in additional costs due to Covid 19 and the postponement of the games. However, we are not just looking at Tokyo, we are taking a longer-term view with this campaign as we aim for success at Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028 and beyond.”
You can watch the launch videos for the campaign here:
To make a donation simply go to https://paralympics.ie/ and click on the ‘Donate’ button or click on the posts visible across official Paralympics Ireland social channels. The minimum donation is €2 and can be made using either Google Pay, Credit or Debit Card or Paypal.