The Agitos Foundation, alongside Rio 2016 and the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, will begin the latest workshops designed to improve coaching, classification and sport management in the Americas on Saturday (18 April), in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Road to Rio 2016: Agitos Foundation Sessions will be run by leading experts and follow on from the hugely successful 2014 programme delivered in partnership with the organisers of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games where 120 classifiers, coaches and sport managers were trained.
The first workshop is targeted at visual impairment classifiers and sport managers from the Americas region.
Georg Schlachtenberger, Director of the Agitos Foundation, said: "We are very excited to be working with our partners once again to develop para-sport in the Americas, and I am grateful to Rio 2016 and the Brazilian Paralympic Committee for their work with us during a historic phase in the region's history.
"In just over 500 days, over 4,350 athletes from more than 170 countries around the world will come to compete at the first Paralympic Games in South America, which is a huge step towards expanding the reach of para-sport.
"The world will be looking at the Americas and this brings the opportunity for consolidating efforts and developing an active, prepared and motivated team to support the legacy of Rio 2016."
Carlos Nuzman, President of Rio 2016 Organising Committee, said: "The Paralympic athletes are idols and their achievements are a source of inspiration to us all. We are confident that initiatives such as these workshops are fundamental to the development of sport and our goal to make a memorable Paralympic Games in 2016, which will leave many a positive legacy for the city and for the sport."
Andrew Parsons, President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee added: "The fact the Paralympic Games will be held for the first time in South America gives us a great opportunity to increase the impact of Paralympic sports in the region. Not only targeting high performance athletes but also international classifiers and coaching staff."
From Saturday until Tuesday (21 April), 30 people from 21 countries will attend the first of three four-day workshops taking place in Sao Paulo through to early 2016. They will take part in sessions run by experts in visual impairments from Israel and Iran and sport management facilitators from the IPC Academy.
The next Road to Rio 2016: Agitos Foundation Sessions will then take place in June for coaches, classifiers and athletes, followed by a workshop specifically for coaches in November, and concluding with the final session in January 2016.
A full schedule is available at www.paralympic.org/agitos-foundation/programmes/road-to-rio-2016.