"We strongly feel that all people who were influenced by the Paralympic education program through the I’mPOSSIBLE lessons have shown an honest change of mind set towards people with an impairment."
As the International Paralympic Committee and the Agitos Foundation prepare to launch the I’mPOSSIBLE education programme globally on 3 December, the hosts of the 2020 Paralympic Games promoted an open lesson of the programme as part of the activities to mark 1,000 days to Tokyo 2020.
The activity was hosted by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee at the world’s tallest tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree, which was lit up with the three colours of the “Agitos”. More than 120 children from two local schools took part in the open lesson, led by Proud Paralympian leader Miki Matheson and multi-medallist Para swimmer Keiichi Kimura. Children were able to learn more about the Paralympic Movement and ask questions about Para sport.
Earlier this year, Japan became the first country to pilot I’mPOSSIBLE, a toolkit of resources designed to engage young people in the Paralympic Movement. Through education of inclusion and the Paralympic values, the programme aims to challenge and change the perceptions of how young people perceive people with an impairment.
Created by the IPC’s development arm the Agitos Foundation with the support from the Japanese Paralympic Committee and the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre, I’mPOSSIBLE was distributed this spring to 20,000 elementary schools throughout Japan.
Tokyo 2020 Vice President and Japan Paralympic Committee President Yasushi Yamawaki said: ‘I'mPOSSIBLE is a great learning programme helping raise awareness of Para sports and the Paralympic values. With this strong tool, I am convinced that Tokyo 2020 will deliver the best Paralympic Games ever and leave a legacy for more inclusive society in Japan’.
‘Since Paralympic education is brand-new and quite unique in Japan, not only students show great excitement but also all teachers are eager to learn and teach.’
According to Miki Matheson, it has already been possible to witness the change of perceptions and the increase of awareness of Para sports and the Paralympic Movement among learners. “We strongly feel that all people who were influenced by the Paralympic education program through the I’mPOSSIBLE lessons have shown an honest change of mind set towards people with an impairment, and pure excitement towards the games’, she said.