Scotland business

Nicola Sturgeon wishes Scottish paralympians good luck

Rio Paralympics Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Rio Paralympics take place from 7 to 18 September

The first minister has sent a message of good luck to the Scots competing in the Paralympics.

There are 33 Scottish athletes on the team taking part in 12 sports.

Nicola Sturgeon said she was delighted to see the country so well represented in ParalympicsGB and hopes they will inspire people to get more involved in sport.

The opening ceremony takes place in Rio on Wednesday evening, with the first events taking place on Thursday.

With 33 Scots on the team competing in 12 sports, two targets have already been achieved ahead of the Games - to have the highest number of Scots selected this century across the most sports.

It had been predicted by sportscotland that Scottish athletes could surpass the highest number of Scottish medallists so far this century, and across the highest number of disciplines.

Image copyright BBC Sport
Image caption Libby Clegg is chasing a first Paralympic gold medal in her T12 category
Image copyright PA
Image caption Aberdeen-born cyclist Neil Fachie is hoping to repeat his London 2012 paralympic success

The current best in the 21st Century is 15 Scottish medallists in Sydney 2000, and medallists in five sports at London 2012.

Nicola Sturgeon said: "Para-sport is growing in strength in Scotland and I'm delighted to see that Scots are so well represented in ParalympicsGB.

"I wish Scotland's Paralympians, and all of ParalympicsGB, the very best of luck over the next two weeks.

"The dedication of these men and women is truly inspiring and I hope it will motivate others to take up sport and enjoy all the benefits it can bring."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon hopes the Games will inspire more people to take up sport

Mike Whittingham, performance director at the sportscotland institute of sport, said: "Congratulations to the 33 Scots who have been selected for ParalympicsGB.

"It's a fantastic achievement and I hope that they and all their teammates have a great experience at the Rio Games.

"It is especially encouraging to see that a significant number of the para-athletes will be competing in their first Paralympics and there are Scots selected in 12 sports, as this demonstrates the strength in depth of the para-sport system that now exists across Scotland.

"Within the Scots on ParalymicsGB are some serious medal contenders, including boccia world champion Stephen McGuire and major Games veterans Neil Fachie and Libby Clegg, and it's always exciting to see which new athletes will step up and make their mark on the world stage.

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