Nearly 75 participants from 17 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) of the Americas region took part in coaching and classification workshops over the weekend (12-14 December) in Mexico City, Mexico, as part of the "Road TO15: Agitos Foundation Sessions."
Held at the Instituto de Desarrollo Deportivo para Especialistas de Alta Competencia and organised by the Agitos Foundation and Toronto 2015 in conjunction with the Mexican Paralympic Committee, the workshops aimed to be a first step to getting individuals involved in para-sport. The sessions are part of the development activities for September's Toronto 2015 Parapan Amiercan Games.
Conducted in both Spanish and English, coaching workshops were held in athletics, goalball and swimming, whilst classification workshops were staged in athletics, swimming and visually impaired sport.
Eneida Castellón, a participant on the athletics classification course from Nicaragua, was delighted with the outcomes of his three days in Mexico City.
"I learned a lot from this course. I am very new in the Paralympic Movement but now I'm really looking forward to working more with my NPC and continue with this."
"I want to thank the Agitos Foundation and Toronto 2015 for this outstanding opportunity. I am looking forward to become international classifier in the future."
Bermudan Lonard Teye Botchway who took part in the visual impairment classification course was also impressed.
"The organisation was excellent organization and we had great facilitators. Overall it was a great event. We got to see many different athletes and that helped a lot, it was really interesting."
Stenio Amilcar, a participant on the swimming course, travelled from Haiti to take part.
"Is always interesting to get all the experience and knowledge from such great teachers and discuss with my colleagues. I truly enjoyed the workshops and I know it will be very useful when I'm back in Haiti."
The first "Road TO15: Agitos Foundation Sessions" event was organised in December 2013 and took place in Bogota, Colombia, and attracted 29 representatives from 25 NPCs in the Americas region. It focussed on organisational capacity, athlete and sport development and strategic partnerships for NPCs.
This was followed in April by coaching and classifier workshops which were staged in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In total 90 classifiers and 85 coaches were trained in Sao Paulo and Mexico City.
A key component of the Toronto 2015 Parapan bid was the commitment to elevate the Paralympic Movement within the Americas region to promote inclusion and increase participation in sport.
T02015 recognised that increasing the number of administrators, coaches and classifiers will have a direct impact on the growth of the Paralympic Movement within the Americas region. With this in mind T02015 partnered with the Agitos Foundation to structure and deliver the Road T02015: Agitos Foundation Sessions as part of the T02015 Parapan American Development Programme.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC supervises the organisation of the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to develop sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality. Founded on 22 September 1989, the IPC is an international non-profit organisation formed and run by 176 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) from five regions and four disability specific international sports federations (IOSDs). The IPC Headquarters and its management team are located in Bonn, Germany.