“This is a wonderful opportunity for promoting Paralympic Values among children, to educate them about equality and inclusion. Project I'mPOSSIBLE will trace a path for new generations and for better society of the future."
For nearly a decade, the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Serbia has been introducing schoolchildren to Paralympic sport and the Paralympic Movement’s values. But the NPC will now have extra support in its efforts.
On Sunday (3 December), Serbia will be part of the I’mPOSSIBLE education programme global launch, led by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and its development arm the Agitos Foundation.
The programme is a toolkit of resources designed to engage young people in the Paralympic Movement. Through education of inclusion and the Paralympic values, it aims to challenge and change the perceptions of how young people perceive people with an impairment.
For Bojan Jacimovic, Secretary General of NPC Serbia, the toolkit is the perfect way to refresh and revamp the current education programme that they have been using for the past eight years.
“We need that kind of programme to establish strong support for Paralympic sport in Serbia. We are also aware that these kinds of programmes are improving the inclusion of people with disabilities in society,” said Jacimovic.
To celebrate the global launch, NPC Serbia organised a Paralympic School Day on Thursday (30 November) with children aged 7-8 years old at a primary school in Belgrade.
The children got the opportunity to interact with their national Para athletes, during activities such as playing table tennis, and also watched a video that highlighted Serbia’s achievements at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. A mix of 20 Serbian Paralympic, world and European medallists were present at the School Day.
Engaging children at a young age is key in changing perceptions of people with impairments in the country, according to Jacimovic: “The benefit for youth is the better understanding of the Paralympic Movement and also better treatment of people with disabilities.
“The public is not very aware of the vision and values of the Paralympic Movement,” Jacimovic said. “We had a huge campaign for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and since Rio we have been the focus of Serbian media. However, all this time they are focused on sports results.
“We have to put some effort into informing the public about the Paralympic Movement overall and not just results. Beyond the results the next step should be organising a roundtable of different discussions on the rights of persons with disabilities in Serbia.”
During the event, NPC Serbia and the Ministry of Youth and Sport signed an agreement work together to implement I’mPOSSIBLE.
NPC Serbia President Zoran Micovic said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for promoting Paralympic Values among children, to educate them about equality and inclusion. Project I'mPOSSIBLE will trace a path for new generations and for better society of the future."