When welcoming the team the Sports Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín said: “I wish to offer a very warm welcome to the Irish Paralympic Team and hope they enjoy and prosper from the excellent facilities at Antrim Forum. I know that their presence will inspire young people to overcome any obstacles preventing them participating in sport. Let’s us all give them our support. I sincerely hope their time here helps them achieve Paralympic success.”
Disability Sports NI Chairperson and former Paralympic medalist Angela Hendra MBE said: 'We are delighted to welcome the 2012 Irish Paralympic Team to Northern Ireland as they start their final preparations for London.’
“The camp will not only give Ireland’s most talented disabled athletes the opportunity to prepare for the Games but will hopefully inspire and encourage local young people with disabilities to get involved in sport and lead a healthy and active lifestyle”.
Nick Harkness, Acting Chief Executive Officer of SportNI, said:
“We have worked very hard with the Department and many others to attract as many Olympic and Paralympic athletes as possible in the run up to the 2012 Games. We are delighted that Paralympics Ireland has chosen Antrim Forum as a training base before the Paralympic Games and I would like to offer them all a very warm welcome on behalf of SportNI, I wish all of the athletes the best of luck for the 2012 Games.”
Liam Harbinson, Chief Executive Officer of Paralympics Ireland said:
“It’s a great privilege to have the first get together of the actual Irish Team, who are to compete in London, here in Northern Ireland. It marks the first camp in our history on this side of the border and we’re delighted to honour the many Paralympians from Northern Ireland who have represented Ireland by using the exceptional facilities in Northern Ireland at this critical phase of our preparation for the Paralympic Games. The camp would not have been possible without the support of Sport NI, Disability Sport NI and Antrim Borough Council. We are extremely grateful for the great support and welcome we have received.”