The Agitos Foundation continues to be a leader of Para sport development around the world, and 2019 was a hugely successful year for the organisation.
As the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) development arm, the Foundation has put on programmes that changed the lives of both Para athletes while stirring a new Para sport audience. Their achievements in 2019 cannot go unrecognised and received an honourable mention in the IPC’s top 10 moments of the year.
Support paying dividends
The fruits of the Agitos Foundation’s work have been seen through the success of the athletes they have supported.
For example, through the NPC Development Programme, the Agitos Foundation has supported 127 athletes in 2019 with competition participation grants to compete in World Championships and other competitions.
This year saw 74 of those athletes reach Minimum Entry Standards (athletics) or Minimum Qualification Standards (powerlifting and swimming). This does not mean they have guaranteed a place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, but it makes them eligible for selection by their NPCs.
Perhaps even more impressive is that the supported athletes won a total of 15 medals this year (3 golds, 7 silver, 5 bronze ), with several athletes achieving their personal bests.
“Back in our countries they think only able-bodied can take part in sport,” said Ellie Ennock, a shot put athlete from Vanuatu who broke the Oceania record for F57 with 6.28m at the 2019 World Championships. “After coming to big competitions like these we want to show to our countries that, even though we have disabilities, we can achieve great things.”
Lima 2019 were the biggest and best Parapan American Games with over 170,000 spectators attending the different venues.
Among those athletes, over 110 athletes from 21 countries took part of activities delivered or funded by the Agitos Foundation. Several coaches and sport managers from National Paralympic
Committees (NPCs) in the Americas have also attended Agitos Foundation workshops, ensuring a legacy for Para sports in the region.
In total, 50 Agitos Foundation supported athletes won 66 medals in Lima – 28 gold, 26 silver and 12 bronze. Many of them broke records, achieved personal bests and have taken their countries to unprecedented competition stages.
Next generation of Para sports fans
One of the Agitos Foundation’s prize programmes has been I’mPOSSIBLE, an education toolkit implemented in schools to introduced pupils about the Paralympic Movement. The hope is to promote social inclusion by raising awareness of the Movement to the next generation.
I’mPOSSIBLE was launch in 2017, and the following year it reached around 150,000 children and 3,818 teachers globally. As of August 2019, 25 other countries from all over the world have also signed agreements to implement the programme.
Daniela Klinge is a teacher at the Bonn International School in Germany, where I’mPOSSIBLE has been applied, and she sees the importance and change the programme is bringing to the students and even staff.
“Inclusion is something we have to deal with on an everyday basis, whether it’s different skill abilities or just different personal experiences. I thought the training was fun, engaging and informative and it really provided us with tools, tangible things that we can actually apply within Bonn International School.”