Argentina to launch Para sport awareness campaign

The South American country will promote Para sports and strengthen their place in #TeamAgitos. 09 Aug 2016
Mariela Almada of Argentina

Mariela Almada of Argentina competes in the Women's Shot Put F11/F12 Final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

ⒸGetty Images
By Agitos Foundation

Argentina will launch a ground breaking new social media campaign aiming to raise awareness of the Paralympic Movement with the help of the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee, the Agitos Foundation.

The #PARARio campaign is amongst the projects to benefit from support received through the Organisational Capacity Programme (OCP) and joins a growing family of activities taking place as part of #TeamAgitos.

Since 2014 over a 1,500 people have been engaged in national workshops to develop their National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) through the OCP, including learning project management skills, promoting their NPC and raising awareness of the Paralympic Movement as well as creating good governance structures and new partnerships.

Argentina’s former wheelchair rugby player Daniela Luchina got involved with the OCP in 2014 and benefitted immensely from the guidance she has received.

“I heard about the programme in 2013 when I took part in a sports management workshop in Bogota, Colombia. I remember feeling that I was not sure about it, but after some consideration I decided to apply and I got accepted,” she said.

Once Luchina came back from the training sessions she started conducting successful workshops in Argentina as part of the ongoing commitment the NPC made to the programme. “It is the main reason why the Argentinian Paralympic Academy started to grow,” she said.

Now in 2016 Daniela Luchina is the head of the #PARARio campaign, which will be launched on 29 August and aims to raise awareness of Para sports throughout the whole country.

“We are now creating the material and the strategies. This is big, something we have never done before,” said Luchina.

“We want to make people across the country interested in Para sports.

“We hope they will follow the Argentinian athletes on their road to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and start talking about Para sports. And we should get more media attention as well.”

The campaign also aims to create a shift in social perceptions of people with an impairment. According to Luchina, there are many Argentinians who believe they cannot live a regular life.

“If we can get them to change their attitude step by step, we will make a big change and everyone will be able to have the same opportunities in life,” she said.

Even though this seems to be a tough challenge, Luchina remains positive.

“We know it is not an easy path, but we are convinced that this is the way we need to take,” she said.

By the end of August, the social media campaign will be launched. Videos showing Argentina’s Para athletes in their everyday life combined with images and daily sport results from the Games make up the strategy.

“In Argentina we live sports in a very passionate way, and we love feeling proud about our national athletes. We would like to reach as many people as possible in this way and we hope they will cheer for our athletes,” Luchina said.

She also explained why she is so committed to developing Para sports in her country.

“After my years as a Para athlete, I felt I needed to give back something after everything that sports had given me,” she said.

“I needed to do more, and being able to spread the word about the Paralympic Movement was something I should not stop myself from doing.”

With the support available from the Agitos Foundation, the #PARARio campaign can make a contribution towards a more inclusive society.

“We would like to see more people with impairment practising sports by being motivated by the Paralympic Games. We hope to make the Argentinean Paralympic family bigger,” said Luchina.

More information about the OCP can be found on the Agitos Foundation’s website.

Anyone can use #TeamAgitos on social media to show they are part of the team for growing Para sport, whether they are fans, athletes, coaches, part of the Paralympic Movement or a partner organisation.