The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has contracted the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as part of the USD 190,000 programme to grow and strengthen Para sport in Guatemala, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago.
The initiative, which starts immediately and runs until the end of 2024, sees NPC Colombia mentor the three nations, while the IPC will provide consultation to develop an institutional plan that will strengthen each of the participating NPCs. Additionally, the IPC will coordinate and implement activities for an intra-regional exchange of knowledge and best practices with local leaders and representatives from the NPCs.
This project is the third funded initiative of the IDB and the IPC to use Para sport as a tool of social inclusion in the Americas region. Since 2017, the pair have partnered twice on an initiative called “En sus marcas, listos … inclusión", designed to strengthen the Para sport infrastructure.
Through En sus marcas, listos … inclusión, vulnerable communities in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Argentina, Chile and the Dominican Republic have had the opportunity to participate in adaptive sports. Over 800 athletes, 2,500 local leaders, and 250 coaches have benefited.
Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “Para sport is a key tool in the socioeconomic inclusion of people with disabilities. We are incredibly grateful to the Inter-American Development Bank for partnering with the IPC to help deliver this vitally important work.
“And it is working. We are seeing more and better athletes emerging from the Americas region. At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games we had history as Ecuador won gold for the first time and El Salvador secured their first ever medal, while Venezuela, Chile and Colombia had their most successful Games ever.
“That’s why NPC Colombia is a fantastic mentor for this new initiative. I’m excited about how they will pass on their knowledge to and help grow the Paralympic Movement in Guatemala, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago.”
Julio Cesar Avila, President of NPC Colombia added: “We are excited to transfer the knowledge that we have learned in recent years and have the opportunity to be mentors to our fellow NPCs in the Americas region.
“Thanks to the support of the IDB and the IPC, Paralympic sports have grown considerably in the region. Through it, the number of athletes has increased, and we have more coaches and local leaders trained to teach in sports initiation. I am confident that together we will grow and strengthen the Paralympic Movement in the Americas.”