The Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) has opened the bidding process for the 2021 Youth Parapan American Games, which will feature up to 1,000 athletes. The host city will be announced early next year.
The Youth Parapans were created in 2005 with the objective of promoting the development of the bases and increasing the number of young athletes practicing Para Sport in the continent. Barquisimeto, Venezuela, staged the first edition with athletes from 10 countries participating.
APC President Jose Luis Campo said: “At the 2003 Parapan American Games in Mar del Plata, Argentina, we noticed that one of the most visible problems in the Americas was the high average age of the Para athletes in the different countries.
“To change that reality we decided to create a platform from which young people between 13-21 years old could assess their abilities in a continental event and, in consequence, launch their careers ahead of futures Parapan American Games and Paralympic Games.”
A total of 13 countries participated in the second edition in Bogota, Colombia, in 2009. This time, the program had nine sports. Four years later, the Games moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with athletes from 16 countries competing in 10 sports.
The most recent and biggest Games took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 20-25 March 2017, with over 800 athletes from 19 countries competing across 12 sports at the Brazilian Paralympic Training Center, a magnificent structural legacy of the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
“The bar has been set high, a fascinating challenge for the future,” said Campo. “We would like to invite all 31 countries who are members of the APC interested in organising the 2021 Youth Parapans to send us their candidacy.
“We are enthusiastic about deepening this process, promoting the Para Sport in the continent, strengthening the union between the countries, consolidating the work together and cooperating in the formation of increasingly equitable societies.”
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More information about each edition of the Youth Parapans can be found on the APC’s website.