The world’s greatest para-swimmers will make a splash in Melbourne, with the announcement that the state will play host to the opening round of the 2019 World Para-swimming World Series.
The global event will head to Australia for the first time, with the 2019 World Series set to be the largest to date, spanning eight countries across four continents from February to June.
General Manager of Paralympic Programs at Swimming Australia, Adam Pine says it is a “great opportunity for Melbourne and for Paralympic swimming in this country.”
“The meet will provide valuable racing experience for our athletes and will bring many other athletes from all over the world to our shores,” he says.
“Thanks to the support and additional investment from the Australian Paralympic Committee, this meet will mean that many of our athletes will have access to the international classification process.”
Mr Pine says this will help athletes get geared up for the 2019 World Para-swimming Championships and the 2020 Paralympic Games.
Chief Executive of Swimming Victoria, Jason Hellwig also shared his excitement for the event.
“This is a great recognition for Victorian swimming and will put some well-earned focus on Para-swimming both here and Australian-wide.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC), Lynne Anderson says APC are incredibly excited to see Melbourne host the opening edition of the 2019 World Para-swimming World Series.
“It will follow an exceptionally successful ‘Year of Para-sport’ for the APC, with the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships both hosted on home soil,” she says.
And she expects Melbourne will draw quite a crowd.
“We have seen first-hand what can happen when Australians, particularly Australians with disabilities, are given the opportunity to watch Paralympic sport - they embrace it readily.”
Mrs Anderson says the Paralympic movement has “become a force to be reckoned with in Australia” over the last 12 months.
“I am confident the opening edition of the 2019 World Series will only add to this amazing legacy.”
The Netherlands and Singapore also join Australia as debut hosts.
For more information on the 2019 World Para-Swimming World Series click here.