Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Paralympics Ireland today (Thurs, May 20) announced details of a unique partnership to prepare Ireland’s elite Paralympic athletes for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The partnership places the Institute as the centre of excellence for the physiological preparation of the Irish team. Bruce Wardrop, exercise physiologist with the Institute’s Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Science (DHSES) will develop and implement the Irish team’s preparation strategy. In addition, sports science and other facilities at the Institute will be used to track the performance and training progress of the Irish athletes in the countdown to London 2012.
To complement the partnership, DHSES students will complete work placements with Paralympics Ireland (PCI), gaining hugely valuable professional experience. Tipperary native Nancy Troy has just successfully completed the first of these placements with the PCI. The partnership also aims to foster research activity with Institute academics supporting the Paralympic movement by examining a range of relevant areas.
Announcing the partnership, Liam Harbison, Chief Executive Officer, PCI, said: “We are delighted to have Waterford Institute of Technology as official partners to the 2012 Irish Paralympic team as we continue work towards London 2012. Our organisation is extremely ambitious and we are delighted that WIT have matched our ambition with this partnership.
“The Institute has a particularly strong reputation for excellence across a range of sports and for the way that sport is integrated to wider Institute life. This makes the partnership agreement an excellent fit. As a WIT graduate, I am particularly pleased while we are also thrilled to continue to work with Bruce Wardrop who made a tremendous contribution to our team for Beijing 2008.”
Ratifying the agreement, Prof Kieran R Byrne, President, WIT, said: “The Institute community is very pleased to support the Irish Paralympic team in their preparations for and participation in London 2012.
“Our core work as a higher education institution is all about enabling people to be all that they can be and to excel at what they do. Through this partnership, we can provide practical support with creating the conditions that allow Ireland ’s Paralympic athletes to flourish in ways that can inspire and excite. The Paralympic motto ‘Spirit in Motion’ distils well the essence of what sport is all about and we now look forward to working with the Paralympic Council of Ireland and, especially, the Irish athletes who will represent this country with pride and distinction at London 2012.”
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