A Queenslander has been named co-captain of the Australian team for the world’s biggest sporting event for intellectually challenged athletes.
Brisbane is hosting the INAS Global Games for the first time in October which will see more than 1,000 athletes from around 50 countries compete in ten different sports including athletics, cycling, rowing, swimming and tennis.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Archie Graham as the Men’s Captain for the 2019 INAS Global Games at a special function at Parliament House while also announcing financial support for the 44 Queensland athletes.
“After only picking up a racquet 10 years ago, Archie, an Ipswich local, is a four-time Tennis World Champion for Athletes with an intellectual disability and two-time winner of Tennis Australia’s Most Outstanding Athlete with a disability,” the Premier said.
“Congratulations on being awarded this honour Archie, we know you will lead the 2019 INAS Australian team well.”
The Premier said she was pleased to announce the Queensland athletes would receive $2700 Athlete Bonus Grants to help with their preparation.
“We want to ensure our local team members have the best chance of going for gold against the world’s best,” the Premier said.
“Queensland has a proven track record with inclusive games. The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games was the largest sporting event to integrate para-sports.
“We’re building on that success with the INAS Global Games because disability should never be a barrier to competing at the highest levels.”
Overall, the Palaszczuk Government is supporting the INAS Games through $875,000 in cash support and $175,000 in in-kind support.
Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said the INAS Games will launch at King George Square in October.
“With the international spotlight focusing on Brisbane for the INAS Games, we want to continue to show that Queensland has a winning track record with hosting major sporting events,” Mr de Brenni said
“It’s also important that there is equality in sport for all Queenslanders, including those with any kind of disability.
“The Palaszczuk Government has provided $1,991,750 to support disability sport throughout the state since 2015.
“This approach is reflected in Activate! Queensland – a ten-year, $1.3 billion strategy to get more Queenslanders moving more often and promote better connected communities,” Mr de Brenni said.
Activate! Queensland will support up to 150 infrastructure projects over the next three years and provide a significant investment towards high-performance sport science and coaching.
An initial three-year investment of $25.5 million will fund $150 vouchers for more than 56,000 low-income families, helping to cover the costs of sporting club registration and personal playing gear.