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Angola hosts Para athletics and Para powerlifting camp

Portuguese-speaking African nations take part in NPC Development Programme activity 26 Feb 2018
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Around 50 participants of Agitos Foundation training camp pose for a group picture in Luanda, Angola

Training camp gathered athletes and coaches from five Portuguese-speaking nations in Luanda, Angola

ⒸAgitos Foundation
By Agitos Foundation

“I have seen some athletes with tremendous potential who, with the right tools, can certainly be in Tokyo 2020. I am very helpful to have contributed a little bit.”

From 19-22 February, more than 50 athletes and coaches from Portuguese-speaking African countries gathered in Luanda, Angola, for the Agitos Foundation Para athletics and Para powerlifting training camp.

During the four-day activity, participants from hosts Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe could improve their knowledge and skills, mentored by athletes and coaches from the Brazilian Paralympic Committee.

Para athletics workshops were led by Paralympic medallists Veronica Hipolito and Yohansson do Nascimento and coach Everaldo Braz, while powerlifters Marcia Menezes and Luciano Dantas and coach Weverton Santos were in charge of the Para Powerlifting workshops.

“I came to teach what I know about training and techniques, but I learned much more from them”, said sprinter Veronica Hipolito, who won two medals in the Rio 2016 Paralympics. “They welcomed us with arms wide open and made us rethink the meaning of resilience. The majority of athletes here were born in difficult contexts and had all conditions not to succeed, but they are very determined.”

Para athletics coach Everaldo Braz said: “Being here was like seeing our athletes winning medals in the Paralympic Games. I am very grateful. The participant countries have a modest infrastructure, but we see how interested and dedicated the athletes and coaches are, even if they don’t have much.

“I have seen some athletes with tremendous potential who, with the right tools, can certainly be in Tokyo 2020. I am very helpful to have contributed a little bit.”

Powerlifter Celestina Camara is looking forward to sharing her learnings with fellow athletes in Guinea-Bissau. “The experience was absolutely great, as I had the opportunity of learning things that I probably wouldn’t in my country. I’m sure that in the next competition I’ll be able to use this new knowledge and I will share the techniques I have learned with my colleagues who were not here.”

First of its kind dedicated to the Lusophone African nations, the training camp in Luanda is supported by the NPC Development Programme, which aims to build capacity within National Paralympic Committees around the world. Supported by the IPC’s Worldwide Paralympic Partnership with Toyota, the programme started in 2017 and will run until 2024, reaching over 140 countries.