Future Danish talent found at National Paralympic DayThe Danish National Paralympic Committee put on an event to target youngsters between 5-12 years-old and introduce Proud Paralympian to their older development athletes. 24 Sep 2015
The Danish Paralympic Committee put on its fourth annual National Paralympic Day in Odense on 19 September, aiming to recruit more young para-athletes and introduce Proud Paralympian for the first time.
Whilst many National Paralympic Committees use Paralympic Days to raise awareness of para-sport in their countries, the Danish use theirs to identify new talent in potential athletes aged between 5-12-years-old.
Thirty five youngsters, accompanied by their parents and siblings, were giving the opportunity to try two sports from athletics, swimming, goalball, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and equestrian.
The event took place at the fully accessible state-of-the-art sports science complex at the Syddansk Universitet, with only equestrian being held at a different venue.
The activities were run by experienced coaches, some of whom train youth or national teams, supported by 30 young athletes from Denmark’s ‘Talent Squad’ programme.
The Talent Squad are formed of para-athletes from around the country who have already shown their potential in sport and leadership, and this year they were treated to a pilot of the International Paralympic Committee’s athlete education programme Proud Paralympian.
Two-time equestrian Paralympic medallist Annika Dalskov swapped stories with the Talent Squad and inspired them to share the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality.
The key messages that the youngsters said they took away from the experience were ‘we are all equal’ and ‘we are part of something big’.
The benefits of using social media to share experiences of competition and training were also part of the Proud Paralympian activities delivered to the Talent Squad.
The activities in Denmark were one of the last remaining events in the pilot for Proud Paralympian, which is aimed at Paralympians and those who aspire to compete at the Paralympic Games. It is designed to support athlete development both on and off the field of play, as individuals and active citizens.
Proud Paralympian can be found on Facebook and Twitter by searching for #ProudParalympian.