Vietnamese paralympic athletes set to train in the University of Limerick

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE University of Limerick will host athletes and staff from the Vietnam Paralympic Committee in July.

THE University of Limerick will host athletes and staff from the Vietnam Paralympic Committee in July.

Up to 19 athletes and a number of support staff will stay on campus and take part in a training camp in UL for three weeks this summer as part of an Irish government funded programme.

The team - and one from Zambia who will take part in a training camp in Dublin - are being funded by Irish Aid and the Irish Sports Council to train in Ireland for the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

“They are here for a three week period, they will stay on campus and train in three main disciplines, swimming, athletics and weight lifting. There are about 19 athletes and their entourage as well,” explained UL Arena boss Dave Mahedy.

“We were asked to put them up and house them, let them use the facilities and we are delighted to do that,” he added.

It will cost in the region of €64,000 to host the two teams in Ireland, with funding coming from Irish Aid and the Sports Council.

“That is correct. They asked if we could facilitate them and we can and are happy to do so. We are delighted with it,” said Mr Mahedy.

“It is great for us. They will stay in on campus accommodation, train and eat here and hopefully do a bit of sightseeing around Limerick,” he added.

The Irish Sports Council led project was developed by the London 2012 Co-ordination Committee, of which Minister of State Michael Ring is chair.

Vietnam and Zambia make up two of Irish Aid’s - who are based in Limerick - nine partner countries worldwide.

Despite the close proximity of the Olympics to Limerick, UL Arena is not expecting to play host to a large number of athletes, but a number of Jamaican sprinters visited last week, while Tunisian and Chilean swimmers are also due in the coming weeks.