Asian athletes receive leadership training

Online Proud Paralympian Athlete Representation Workshop held to empower athletes to become effective leaders 15 Apr 2021
a male Para Nordic skier in action
Asian Athlete Representative Jeong Min Lee attended the online Proud Paralympian Athlete Representation Workshop in March
ⒸGetty Images

South Korean Paralympian Jeong Min Lee believes a strongly connected and empowered athlete community is crucial for the development of Para sports across Asia. 

The Nordic skier is convinced that training opportunities, such as the recently delivered online Proud Paralympian Athlete Representation Workshop held from 29-31 March, are necessary to provide Asian athletes with the skills and knowledge to become effective leaders. 

“It is important for athletes to get involved as well as to be provided this platform to express their opinions. It is powerful and can create lasting impact,” said Asian Athlete Representative Lee. 

“Next we should establish this network among all athletes who participated in the workshop to maintain effective and steady communication. We will then invite other Paralympic athletes to increase the size. 

“Asia is a large region with very diverse languages and ethnicities. It would be good to select athlete representatives who can speak different languages and work together to promote the Paralympic Movement.”  

The three-day long workshop covered topics such as the role of an athlete representative, steps to become one, strategies for effective representation and communication, and creating and maintaining networks. 

Screenshot of the online Proud Paralympian Athlete Representation Workshop

Athletes from China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan and Laos participated in the workshop, which was delivered by wheelchair fencer Alison Yu Chui Yee of Hong Kong and former middle-distance runner Brad Scott of Australia, both educators of the Proud Paralympian athlete education programme . 

Yu said: “It is my very first time hosting an online Proud Paralympian workshop. It was so much fun to share my experiences with those Asian representatives. Moreover, I really love the bonding we created during the workshop and seeing the improvement and growth of all the athletes.  

"I am glad to have joined them in deciding their personal game plan. Looking forward to seeing those representatives in different position and contributing towards the athletes’ community and the Paralympic Movement." 

Alison Yu Chui Yee smiles at the camera
Alison Yu Chui Yee was one of two educators at the workshop Ⓒ Teresa Rooney/Agitos Foundation

The workshop was funded by the NPC Development Programme, which aims to build capacity within National Paralympic Committee’s around the world. Supported by the IPC’s Worldwide Partner Toyota, the programme will run until 2024 and will reach over 140 countries. 

Paralympic champion Wang Yanzhang of China, who also attended the workshop, said: “It has been a great honour for me to participate in this workshop. I would like to thank the staff and tutors for ensuring a vivid and interesting learning experience throughout these three days. 

“I got to meet and make a lot of new friends. Through each interaction, we went from being strangers to joining efforts to solve problems together. After three days, I gained a lot of insights and ideas. I have also made progress, especially in the aspects of theoretical knowledge and thought process, which would help me in future.  

”What is most commendable is the patience and encouragement from the tutors. It is their efforts that make this course go smoothly, wonderful and perfect!” 

Iran’s two-time Paralympic gold medallist Abdolreza Jokar added: “I wish to express my gratitude to the organisers of the seminar for providing us a platform to exchange our thoughts with other Para athletes from around the world.  

“The seminar gave me the chance to share new ideas with Iranian Para athletes and let other athletes’ message be heard. I look forward to future sessions of the programme.”