El Salvador to stage major para-athletics event pre-Toronto 2015

June’s event for countries in Central America and the Caribbean will be a qualifier for August’s Parapan American Games. 09 Mar 2015
Omara Durand of Cuba

Omara Durand of Cuba crosses the line to win gold in the Women's 100m - T13 Finalon day 8 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games

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This June El Salvador will host the Para-Athletics Tournament in Central America and the Caribbean, which is a qualifier for August’s Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, in Canada.

Organised by the El Salvador National Paralympic Committee with the support of a grant from the Agitos Foundation, the IPC’s development arm, the event will take place between 2-7 June and will involve at least 150 participants, including athletes, coaches, classifiers and officials.

The event is part of a broader project in the Central Americas region funded by the Agitos Foundation’s Grant Support Project which last November saw a goalball tournament staged in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua.

According to Jorge Ochoa, President of the Paralympic Committee of El Salvador (COPESA) staging an event of this magnitude is a sign of confidence from the International Paralympic Committee and the Agitos Foundation.

“COPESA is proud to host the first country-level Central American and Caribbean athletics meeting of this type. It speaks highly of El Salvador and shows the IPC and Agitos Foundation has seen our efforts to development sport for people with disabilities.”

Between 2-4 June there will be athlete classification opportunities, whilst the track competition will be held between 5-7 June.

At least 10 countries are expected to send athletes to the event including hosts El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Puerto Rico. Further South American countries will also be invited to send athletes.

The Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games will take place between 7-15 August, attracting around 1,600 athletes from 28 countries who will compete in 15 sports. All sports will act as qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.