Four National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) will receive seed funding from the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee, the Agitos Foundation, for media and public awareness campaigns ahead of Rio 2016.
Ghana, Cameroon, Haiti and Argentina will benefit from EUR 1,000, EUR 800, EUR 600 and EUR 400 respectively to promote their athletes and Para sport in the final two months ahead of, during and after the Paralympics.
The countries are all part of the first round of the Agitos Foundation’s Organisational Capacity Programme (OCP), which aims to give NPCs the skills they need to grow and develop.
Ghana plan to invest their funding in organising a workshop for media where they will explain Para sport and the Paralympic Games. They will also ask one of their most famous musicians Okyeame Kwame, known as ‘OK’, to write a song and be their ambassador.
During the Games they will provide information to their media contacts about their athletes’ performances and organise a special homecoming carnival.
Cameroon will organise an event in July where media can try Para sport for themselves. They also plan to secure slots on national radio and TV stations where they can provide information to the public, before, during and after Rio 2016.
This includes an ‘Echoes from Rio’ campaign which will feature athlete interviews and updates on performances from the time they arrive in Brazil.
Haiti and Argentina plan various social media campaigns, media awareness and promotional activities.
At the same time as publishing the list of successful applicants, the Agitos Foundation also called on other countries to think about how they can create similar campaigns.
The success of the OCP so far – more than 1,000 people from 39 NPCs have taken part since its launch in 2014 – has also led to a series of other achievements.
NPCs can now boast closer relationships with their governments and National Sports Councils as well as the development of strategic and operational plans and brand identities.
Four groups of NPCs are participating in the OCP, which has various levels of training. It is hoped that as a result of their involvement, they can strengthen the administrative structures that support Para athletes at a national level.