Ana Carolina Maia has been appointed as Paralympics Ireland's new classification coordinator ©Paralympics Ireland

Paralympics Ireland has announced the appointment of a new classification coordinator with six months to go until the start of the Rio 2016 Games.

Ana Carolina Maia, who was part of the Brazilian team at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico and at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, has taken up the role.

Maia has a background in physiotherapy and is currently undertaking a Masters course in sports and exercise biomechanics.

She has been involved with Paralympic sport since 2005 and swimming classification since 2009.

The Brazilian is also currently a trainee international classifier of swimming at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and has been volunteering for Paralympics Ireland as a classifier since 2013.

"I am really excited to be joining the Paralympics Ireland team in what is a hugely exciting year for the athletes and staff," Maia said.

"I can't wait to work as part of their dedicated team and help to drive forward the development of the national classification programme and the success of our athletes."

Paralympics Ireland launched a new awareness and fundraising campaign entitled
Paralympics Ireland launched a new awareness and fundraising campaign entitled "More Than Sport" last month ©Getty Images

Liam Harbison, chief executive of Paralympics Ireland, welcomed the new appointment.

"We are delighted that Ana has joined our team and wish her every success in the role," he said.

"Moving forward, Paralympics Ireland looks forward to recommencing the national classification programme with our member NGBs (National Governing Bodies) in the coming weeks and months."

Last month, Paralympics Ireland marked the announcement of their 56-strong Athlete Panel by launching a new awareness and fundraising campaign entitled "More Than Sport".

The campaign, which features a number of athletes who sit on the panel, is aimed at raising funds for the Irish team in the build-up to the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

The Rio 2016 Paralympics are scheduled to take place from September 7 to 18.