2018 PARA SWIMMING EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS COMING TO DUBLIN

Paralympics Ireland, together with its event partners; Swim Ireland, Failte Ireland, and Sport Ireland today officially announced that we will host the 2018 Para Swimming European Championships at the National Aquatic Centre from 13th to 19th August 2018.

This is the very first time such a prestigious Para sport event, which is governed by World Para Swimming, will come to Ireland. The event will attract many of the world’s leading Para swimmers with over 500 athletes from forty countries set to descend on the capital for seven days of unforgettable competition in August next year.

Notably, the Championships will be the biggest competition to be held at the National Aquatic Centre since the 2003 European Short Course Swimming Championships presenting an unrivalled opportunity to internationally showcase all the National Sports Campus has to offer.

Speaking at the announcement newly appointed Minister for State at the Department of Tourism, Transport and Sport Mr. Brendan Griffin T.D. stated: “The Government is delighted that this event is coming to Dublin, and the National Sports Campus in particular. Ireland has a rich and proud tradition in Para swimming with many medallists down through the years, yet the Irish public have never before had the opportunity to experience a major Para Sport Championships. Many of the current Irish swimmers train daily in this fine facility so to be able to bring such an important event to their home pool is very special, and I’m confident the public will support this event in great numbers.”

Commenting on the news President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sir Philip Craven said: “We are greatly excited to be staging this event in Dublin and would like to the thank the organising committee and all delivery partners for their enthusiasm so far.

This Championships will be the largest Para sport event ever to held in Ireland and I am confident that with multiple Paralympic, world and defending European champions in action, the public will be treated to the very best of what Para swimming has to offer.”

Swim Ireland Chief Executive Sarah Keane: “Swim Ireland is delighted to be working in partnership with Paralympics Ireland to host the Para Swimming European Championships in 2018. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase swimming at the top level and for the Irish public to come out and support our athletes competing on the European stage at the home of Irish swimming.”

On foot of the remarkable success of the Irish team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games Paralympics Ireland was determined to find a way to maintain the increased public awareness, commercial support and media engagement generated at that time. Hosting a major para sport competition for very first time in Ireland, right at the midpoint between the Rio and Tokyo Games was seen as the ideal solution.

Support of key agencies was vital so Swim Ireland, Sport Ireland, and Failte Ireland all committed to becoming event partners and the Irish bid was deemed successful with Dublin 2018 awarded the rights to host this event on behalf of World Para Swimming.

Addressing the audience at the announcement CEO of Paralympics Ireland and Chairperson of the Organising Committee Miriam Malone said: “We firmly believe true understanding and appreciation of the elite athletic nature of Paralympic athletes can only realised by witnessing the sports live.

Irish Paralympic athletes have been competing and achieving consistently all over world for many years. We are incredibly excited and extremely proud that now we can bring them home and provide the opportunity for a supportive Irish public to see for themselves their talent and that of their European counterparts.”

Three time Paralympian and bronze medallist from the Rio Paralympic Games twenty two year old Ellen Keane spoke of what is means to her, and the team: “To think that we will have the chance to show our families, friends and the public just what we have dedicated our lives to is so very special. Representing Ireland on the international stage is a tremendous honour and to do so in front of a home crowd is what we all dream of. We are so excited to showcase elite Para sport to the country and provide this platform to grow the sport of Para swimming in Ireland, and hopefully build a precious legacy towards Tokyo and beyond.”

A video has been commissioned to celebrate the Championships which can be viewed on www.paralympics.ie/Dublin2018 and downloaded from www.youtube.com/paralympicsireland

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