The Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., this afternoon attended the Morton pre-games events with the Vietnamese paralympic team at the Morton Stadium in Santry.
The Vietnam Paralympic Association took up the offer of the use of Irish facilities which was provided through support from Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and the Irish Sports Council. The team are using the state of the art facilities at University of Limerick. The Vietnamese athletes will partake in swimming, weightlifting and athletics in London from the 29th August until 9th September.
This brings to 15 the number of countries which have chosen Ireland as a training base in the run-up to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. The project was originally proposed by the Sports Council, and was developed through the London 2012 Co-ordinating Committee, which is chaired by Minister Ring. Speaking after meeting with the Vietnamese team Minister Costello said:
“I am delighted to welcome the Vietnamese Paralympics teams to Morton Stadium today to enjoy the Morton Pre-Games. The athletes have been supported by Irish Aid to travel to Ireland and train in our state-of-the-art facilities in Limerick. I know they will also enjoy our world-renowned hospitality. Ireland is also supporting the Zambian Paralympians, who will arrive next month to prepare for the Games at Morton Stadium in Dublin.
“Ireland has built strong relations with Vietnam and Zambia through the Irish Aid programme. Our support to these countries is targeted at the poorest and most marginalised communities. We are supporting their Governments and citizens to reduce poverty, increase school enrollment, build sustainable and inclusive economic growth and assist people living with disability. Our support to people with disability is designed to empower them to access training and employment.