25 Aug 2012

Sport: Paralympic athletes to arrive in London this weekend

10:14 am on 25 August 2012

Pacific athletes competing at the Paralympic Games will enter the athletes village in London this weekend, ahead of next week's opening ceremony.

Delegations from Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tonga have spent the past week and a half training with the Australian team at an Oceania camp in Cardiff ahead of the Games.

The President of the Oceania Paralympic Committee, Paul Bird, says the camp was a way to help the Pacific countries and build their capabilities.

"We've had ten days - in that ten days we're leaving as a team. Every coach has had the opportunity to work with one of the elite Australian coaches in our team. Our athletes have had a chance to train and work and talk and get to know other athletes in a more elite environment. We've had an opportunity for coaches within our countries to talk to each other and work together. We've really started to see a group that are leaving here as a consolidated team."

Paul Bird says the idea is that when the athletes go back home they will continue to build with their own national paralympic commitees.