Topaz Announces Partnership with Paralympics Ireland


Topaz, Ireland’s largest fuels and convenience retailer has been announced as an official sponsor of the 2012 Irish Paralympic Team.

Paralympics Ireland

The company confirmed today a five-figure sponsorship deal with Paralympics Ireland in the lead-up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games this August. As “Official Fuel and Convenience Partner”, Topaz will promote the team and Irish Paralympic sport through its network of over 320 sites nationwide.

The Paralympic Games, held every four years in parallel with the Olympic Games, is the premier multisport event for elite athletes with a disability. Ireland is targeting a team of around 42 athletes across 9 sports and 26 have already secured slots in athletics, boccia, cycling, equestrian, rowing, sailing and table tennis. The full team will be announced in late June.

Athlete Catherine Walsh, fresh from her recent gold medal victory at the UCI World Paracycling Track Championships in Los Angeles, attended the sponsorship announcement at Morton Stadium, Santry along with fellow Irish cycling squad members Cathal Miller and Enda Smyth. Liam Harbison CEO of Paralympics Ireland, noted that the support of Topaz is very much appreciated. “Taking part in elite events is a very expensive business and we wouldn’t be able to compete without this kind of sponsorship. While the financial support is very important, especially in the current environment, the fact that all the Topaz sites and employees will be supporting the team and promoting the games is very heartening.” Harbison said.

Paul Candon, Marketing and Corporate Services Director at Topaz, said the company wished the athletes well in their pursuit of a record haul of medals at London 2012. “As a fully Irish owned and managed company we are thrilled to support this Irish team. While competing in the Games will be an unbelievable experience for all the competitors and their families we know the sacrifices these elite athletes will make over the next 170 days and indeed have made since the last games to reach the standards required. Everyone at Topaz will be supporting their endeavours in London this August” Candon said.

Catherine Walsh agreed that the partnership had been well-received by the athletes. “As an athlete who is targeting the podium at London 2012, it’s great to know a company like Topaz is getting behind the team. We’re aiming for a successful Games and the support will help bring the team’s achievements to a whole new audience in Ireland.”

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Note to Editor Paralympics Ireland was founded in 1987 and is responsible for the preparation and management of the Irish team for each summer Paralympic Games. It is also responsible for the development of Paralympic sport in Ireland. Olympic style games for elite athletes with a physical disability were first held in Rome in 1960. Today, the Paralympic Games is a major global sporting event and athletes compete in various classes of competition, according to their disability. The number of athletes participating in Summer Paralympic Games has increased from 400 athletes from 23 countries in Rome in 1960 to over 4000 athletes from 153 countries in Beijing in 2008. London will host the 2012 Paralympic Games. Ireland will look to continue its proud tradition at the Games, winning five medals (three gold, a silver and a bronze) in Beijing 2008. Cyclist Catherine Walsh, is one of Ireland’s main hopes for a medal in her 3k Tandem track event with partner Francine Meehan. Catherine has competed in five previous Paralympic Games, winning bronze in athletics’ pentathlon event at Sydney 2000 (she switched to cycling in 2007).

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