28 May 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Paralympics Ireland Hosts It’s Second Event in Cork Aimed to Give Sportspeople with a Disability the Opportunity to Discover their Paralympic Potential
Paralympics Ireland are excited to bring their permanent tsb NextGen athlete recruitment campaign to the MTU Arena sports centre at Munster Technical University on May 28th, the second in four regional events that aim to discover the next generation of Irish Paralympians.
Permanent TSB Next Gen Programme Dates and Venue
- Sunday, May 28th, MTU Arena, Munster Technological University, Bishopstown, Cork
- Saturday, June 10th, Lisburn Racquets Club, Belfast Road, Lisburn
- Saturday, June 24th, National Indoor Arena, Irish Sports Campus, Blanchardstown, Dublin.
Permanent tsb NextGen is a one-day regional opportunity for young athletes interested in para sport to discover their paralympic potential through a range of physical challenges and exploring different Paralympic sports.
Munster is renowned for producing top quality sports people across all codes of para-sport including Paralympic pioneer and medallist Kay McShane, the medal winning ‘Rebel Treble’ of Niamh McCarthy, Orla Barry and Noelle Lenihan from the Rio Paralympic games and Paris 2024 hopeful Donnacha McCarthy.
Our regional ambassador for the Cork permanent tsb NextGen event is Tokyo Paralympian Jordan Lee, who came through a programme not unlike permanent tsb NextGen which saw his Paralympic journey begin, a journey that took him all the way to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Lee was born with amniotic band syndrome – in the womb, the umbilical cord wrapped around his left elbow, stopping the blood flow and growth. This did not hold the Killarney native back and he showed huge sporting prowess throughout his formative years excelling in both football and basketball where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.
A chance conversation with six-times Paralympic sprint champion Jason Smyth and fellow permanent tsb NextGen ambassador led to Lee attending a Paralympic expo, just after the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. While attending the expo his natural flair for the high jump was spotted and he quickly progressed in the sport after being matched up with coaches who were able to hone his untapped potential.
In his first appearance at a major international event, the 2018 European Para- Athletics Championships Berlin saw him win the bronze medal for Ireland. He followed up this success by qualifying for and representing Ireland at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic games.
Speaking about Permanent tsb NextGen Lee said “Events like these are so important to open the minds of young athletes about the opportunities that could lie ahead. To have the potential to represent your country and travel the world to compete, is just amazing.
Being a Paralympian means everything to me. Whenever I put on that Irish vest, I know that I’m not just representing myself, I’m representing my family, my friends, my community, my county & the entirety of Ireland. It’s a privilege every time I go out and compete, and to be able to do that at the highest level possible at the Paralympics is an extreme achievement.
The advice I would give to kids looking to get into para sport is to not be afraid to get out of their comfort zone and try something new. Always work hard, and always be open and willing to learn to get better. Never let other people’s negativity hamper your will to achieve great things, and of course, enjoy every minute of the journey!”
Paralympics Ireland Sport Director and Chef de Mission for Paris 2024 Neasa Russell said “I was absolutely thrilled with how the first permanent tsb NextGen event went. The energy on the day was fantastic, there was a lot of smiles, good vibes and a lot of positivity. It’s so important to give people with disabilities an opportunity to try sports locally. We are grateful for the support of the National Governing Bodies and local clubs who attended the first event and are really looking forward to bringing permanent tsb NextGen to Cork.”
Permanent TSB is proud to be title sponsor of the Irish Olympic Team and Irish Paralympic Team. They are the first title sponsor to partner with both teams during an Olympic and Paralympic cycle, as well as being Paralympic Ireland’s first-ever title sponsor.