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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE

Countries spread the word with Agitos Foundation help

The National Paralympic Committees of Haiti, Argentina, Cameroon and Ghana implemented successful media campaigns for Rio 2016. 17 Jan 2017
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ⒸIPC
By Agitos Foundation

“Unlike previous years when our fundraising efforts yielded nothing or little, the awareness campaign played a significant role in the amount raised and we hope to improve in future.”

The National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) of Haiti, Argentina, Cameroon and Ghana have reaped the benefits of support offered by the Agitos Foundation to raise awareness of Para sport ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

All four NPCs were awarded seed funding in June 2016 as part of one of the Foundation’s development activities that helped deliver social media activities and attract media attention for their athletes, with the aim to increase public awareness and fundraising opportunities.

In their reports, all have said that the support was crucial in helping them reach some impressive outcomes.

Argentina planned a social media campaign and added 1,200 followers to the Facebook page. The country also made wider efforts to gain more political support for Para sport, and the Secretary of Sport attended Rio 2016.

In Cameroon there was increased interest from sports journalists, some who have pledged to become volunteers in the future according to the NPC, and coverage in national media.

Guides to Para sport were distributed in Haiti and visits to schools took place. In Ghana attention was drawn to a fundraising campaign allowing the NPC to raise thousands of dollars to support the team’s travels to Rio.

Since the Paralympic Games, all of the NPCs have enjoyed an increase in media coverage and public awareness of Para sport. Ghanaian cyclist Allem Mumuni was invited to take part in community and charity work to speak to children about the importance of education.

The countries also reported that they would not have been able to undertake such comprehensive campaigns without the Agitos Foundation’s support, and have been inspired to run similar campaigns for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“One of the positive attributes of the awareness campaign was the public knowledge it created about the NPC and Para athletes,” said Ignatius Elletey and William Ezah of the Ghana NPC. “This is because we were able to project the strengths of our athletes, their potential when it comes to performing on the international stage, their contribution to national development and the challenges they face as well.

“Unlike previous years when our fundraising efforts yielded nothing or little, the awareness campaign played a significant role in the amount raised and we hope to improve in future.”

The Agitos Foundation is the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee, and the seed funding was part of its Organisational Capacity Programme (OCP).

The success of the OCP so far – in 109 OCP workshops almost 2,000 people from 45 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.