“The Proud Paralympian activities during Championships or training camps create a perfect opportunity to be close to the athletes.”
The pilot of the International Paralympic Committee’s Proud Paralympian education programme reached a successful conclusion in Eger, Hungary, between 24-26 November.
Around 230 powerlifters from more than 40 countries were in Eger for the 2015 IPC Powerlifting European Open Championships, many of whom took part in the Proud Paralympian activities.
British Paralympic skier Tim Farr and powerlifting Paralympian Roy Guerin of Ireland led the education sessions which were aligned with IPC Powerlifting’s own Raise the Bar – Say No! to Doping campaign.
Athletes learnt about the Paralympic Movement and its values and were encouraged to share their dreams with each other and how to use social media.
In addition Karl Meesters, Manager of the Athlete Career Programme with IPC partner Adecco, delivered workshops on the development of athlete careers during and beyond their sporting sphere.
Meesters discussed how athletes can apply the skills needed to become an elite athlete as well as those acquired during their sports career, such as team work, tenacity, the drive for success, the ability to inspire and resilience, to their future job aspirations.
He commented: “The Proud Paralympian activities during Championships or training camps create a perfect opportunity to be close to the athletes. As they gather to surpass themselves and break records it’s also a great moment to work on their career aspirations and raise awareness on where the IPC Athlete Career Programme can support them in their personal and professional development.
Through workshops and individual discussions we focus on understanding who they are, where they want to go and how they can use the skills they built through education and sports to become as successful in the world of work as they are on the playing field.”
Other Proud Paralympian pilot sessions took place in Denmark, Kazakhstan, Italy, Brazil, Canada and the UAE throughout 2015 and involved a variety of sports aside from powerlifting including rowing and multi-sport events such as the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.
Proud Paralympian brings together all aspects of an athlete’s life as an individual, athlete and active citizen including fair-play, health, careers, public life and advocacy for the Paralympic Movement.
The education programme takes a 360-degree approach to athlete development through interactive modules including Paralympic history, career planning, media skills, human rights and other programmes and support services.
The overall Proud Paralympian project will be officially relaunched at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Proud Paralympic can be followed on Twitter and Facebook by searching for #ProudParalympian.