Paralympics Australia develops collaboration with University of Queensland

Students of the University of Queensland enrolled in a range of professional programs which will begin conducting industry placements with Paralympics Australia this year.

The National Paralympic Committee in Australia for the Paralympic Games, Paralympics Australia has announced a sponsorship agreement with the University of Queensland (UQ). This partnership certifies Brisbane as a major Paralympic sports centre.

The partnership was announced during a campus tour of UQ’s St. Lucia campus by a group from Paralympics Australia, led by CEO Catherine Clark.

One of the six sandstone universities, or the oldest university in each state, UQ was established in 1909 by the Queensland parliament. The University of Queensland is ranked second in Australia and 42nd overall in 2023 based on the rankings of the most prestigious universities in the world.

As part of the partnership, UQ students enrolled in a range of professional programs which will begin conducting industry placements with Paralympics Australia this year.

Following Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s proclamation this week that a new Paralympics Australia base will be established in Brisbane, space will also be made available at the university to support more intensive preparation and cooperation in the years leading up to 2032.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry, said, “With UQ ranked second in the world for sports science, the 2032 Paralympics presents an extraordinary opportunity to apply our knowledge and expertise to encourage and support Para-athletes. As the Official Higher Education Partner of Paralympics Australia, UQ will build, innovate, research, educate and advocate for broad inclusion and diversity while also increasing the opportunities for people with disabilities to engage in regular sport and physical activity. We know 3 out of 4 Australians with a disability want to participate in sport, but only one in 4 do.

“This partnership will allow us to change those statistics and assist para-athletes to engage in regular sport and physical activity, including training for and participation in sporting competitions. Our highly sought-after graduates will be even better prepared for future success through enriching real-life educational experiences. Consistent with UQ’s Disability Action Plan we will also ensure our curricula and the experience of students in programs from across the University match our goal of providing positive social and physical benefits to people with disabilities, their families, carers and the broader community.”

Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Catherine Clark, said, “This wonderful collaboration with The University of Queensland will help deliver our stated ambition to lead, develop and leverage partnerships to build capability and enhance Paralympic sport equity and success towards and beyond 2032. Following the establishment of The Queensland Network for Paralympic Performance Enhancement and Applied Sports Research in 2021 and our ongoing engagement with the National Institute of Network, PA continues to look for more ways to engage with partners – existing and new – to build the capacity and capability of the Paralympic movement. This potential of the collaboration is incredibly exciting, and I believe its positive and meaningful impact can stretch far beyond Para-sport.”

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