Australian communities urged to support our Paralympians

Media Release, 29 August 2012

Communities across Australia are being urged to throw their support behind the elite athletes of our Paralympics Team and send a Telstra HeroMessage as they strive for glory at the London Paralympic Games.

Over 73,000 messages were sent to athletes during the London Olympic Games and Telstra is urging all Aussies to show the same support and get behind the 161 Australian Paralympians who will be competing across a range of sports including sailing, shooting, equestrian, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair rugby.

Donna Ritchie, past Paralympian and Telstra employee said: “For some of the Australian Paralympic team, this will be their first Paralympic Games so it is important to make them aware we are supporting their efforts and are inspired by their drive to achieve in their chosen sport.”

“Sending messages of support and encouragement to our athletes competing in London will provide them with a reminder that there are many people who are eagerly supporting them in their pursuits.

“I certainly enjoyed receiving the messages when I competed in Wheelchair Basketball at the Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney Paralympic Games and hope that this wonderful tradition continues and grows.”

“Australia has a proud history in the Summer Paralympics, having competed in every Games and hosting the 2000 event in Sydney and that legacy will be further enhanced in London.

“Our athletes will be working hard to improve on a fourth ranking at the 2008 Beijing Games with 23 gold, and with this being the biggest Paralympics ever, they will need all the messages of support we can muster.”

Telstra is a major sponsor of the Australian Paralympic Committee and the HeroMessage enables the community to send messages of encouragement, inspiration and congratulations to the athletes who are representing Australia at the London games.

Recently returned Australian Olympic Swimmer, Libby Trickett, said HeroMesages played an important role in any athletes preparation and performance.

"Receiving messages of support from home really gives you a major lift as you are preparing to go out to compete for your country," Ms Trickett said.

"I know that I will be sending messages of support to our Paralympians in London and urge all Australians to do the same.

A Telstra HeroMessage can be sent two ways: via SMS to 0458 MYHERO (694 376) or online at

In addition to providing the HeroMessage service, Telstra will be hosting three “PEP Talks” (Paralympic Education Program Talks), where children from special schools will interact with Paralympians via a live video link to the Athletes Village in London.

Since its inception at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, Telstra has delivered over one million inspirational HeroMessages of support to Australian athletes participating in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.