The British Paralympic Association (BPA) are hosting sport test activity in the City of Belo Horizonte providing sports and athletes the opportunity to familiarise with the environment, test travel strategies and experience the facilities that ParalympicsGB athletes will use in the immediate run up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as they acclimatise to Brazil and prepare to compete.
The BPA’s preparation camps are supported by UK Sport with National Lottery Funding and constitute a vital part of the BPA’s strategy to ensure that British athletes are supported to deliver personal best performances on the field of play at Rio 2016.
The Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), the state’s top university, Minas Tênis Clube, a state-of-the-art multi sports club, and Cruziero Football Club, will be the main pre-Games training centres for ParalympicsGB athletes ahead of the Games.
A total of 20 athletes across five sports (Powerlifting, Judo, Shooting, Archery and Football 7-a-side) are trialling the facilities over the next week to ensure that when the camps open in the immediate run up to the Games in August 2016 they have experienced the environment.
Penny Briscoe MBE, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said:
“The camps are a crucial part of our preparation strategy and I would like to thank UK Sport and the National Lottery for helping us to ensure that our athletes truly have world class preparations.
“The Paralympic Games are the pinnacle of an athlete’s career and it’s vital that our athletes can undertake their final training and preparations in the best possible environment. Our athletes have been working incredibly hard throughout this cycle and we have to get everything right in the last few days. The preparation camp will provide them with a springboard into the Games.”
UK Sport Director of Performance Simon Timson said:
“In an increasingly competitive Paralympic environment, it is key that our athletes have the very best preparation for the Games in Rio next year. This National Lottery funded opportunity for sports and athletes to rehearse their acclimatisation and pre-Games preparation strategies in Belo Horizonte will provide a crucial competitive advantage for ParalympicsGB to help them deliver inspirational performances again, as they did in London.”
Only a one hour flight from Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia, Belo Horizonte is one of the best connected cities in Brazil and the optimal year round temperatures and first class facilities make it an ideal location for sports training and preparation. It hosted a number of national teams during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and will also welcome Team GB in the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will take place between September 7-18.