Ireland joins Paralympic Team
Date: 5/4/2015 3:31 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

Badminton Ireland, in collaboration with the Badminton World Federation, today announced the inaugural Carlton Irish Para-Badminton International. More than 140 paralympic athletes from 24 nations will congregate in Dublin for the event, which will take place from June 24 – 28 in the Baldoyle Badminton Centre.

Para-badminton will make its Paralympics debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Para-badminton players, both men and women, compete in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Players are classified into six different “classes” to ensure fairness in competition. These are:

• Wheelchair Sport Classes - WH 1 and WH 2
• Standing Sport Classes - SL 3, SL 4 and SU 5
• Short Stature Sport Class - SS 6

Players from Brazil, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Macau, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Surinam, Switzerland, Turkey and Wales are listed amongst the entries.

Ireland’s best chance for a medal will be Niall McVeigh (SS 6 class), the current European and World champion.  He’ll face stiff competition, however, with 44 entries in his division. 

Other Irish contenders include Emma Farnham, Andrew Moorcroft, Michael Smith, Chris Stewart and Laura Lee Jenkins.

Richard Vaughan, the CEO of Badminton Ireland, welcomed the new championships to Ireland, saying: 

“Badminton Ireland is proud to be joining Ireland’s most successful team, Paralympics Ireland, the winners of sixteen medals at the London Paralympics.  Badminton, a major participation sport in Ireland, has a long and distinguished history of adapting our sport for the widest possible community.  In badminton, men and women compete against each other, in mixed doubles, as equals.  Participation in the sport is broadly 50:50 between men and women.  We also have a fantastic age mix.  We’re working to get badminton into every school in the country – while, at the same time, we have a thriving veterans community. 

“We’re proud, too, of our growing reputation as a sport for people with disabilities.  For more than a decade, top badminton coaches have worked with Special Olympic athletes.  We’ve also had tremendous success with our deaf players, who have been part of our federation since 1990.  And we have a two-time World Dwarf Games winner playing here in Ireland - Niall McVeigh, who won the 2009 and 2013 world singles titles.

As a sport for all, then, it’s high time that Irish badminton is represented at the Paraympics.  We want to see our players aim high, to seek to emulate the incredible achievements of athletes like Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop.  I understand that, with just under a year and a half to go, Paralympics Ireland is hoping to send a team of 45 to 50 to Rio.  I’d like nothing more than to have a couple of badminton players join the team.”

Archery Ireland, Badminton Ireland and the Irish Taekwondo Union were welcomed into the Paralympics Ireland family last month.  Irish Paralympic athletes have had impressive success on the world stage over the last year, winning no fewer than 12 medals at the European and World championships in the sports of athletics, cycling and swimming.

For further information please contact David on 01 839 3028
Results will be updated live on our twitter @bad_min_ton and on our website

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