The International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) education programme Proud Paralympian will roll into the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games from 7 August, the first time it is being run at a multi-sport event outside of a Paralympic Games.
Building on pilot workshops that have already taken place in 2015 at IPC Powerlifting regional Championships, a para-rowing competition and two Road to Rio 2016: Agitos Foundation Sessions, the 1,600 athletes from 28 countries will have the chance to engage with the Paralympic values and Paralympic Movement.
Mini workshops will take place in English and Spanish, focusing on tips for using social media, giving interviews and sharing personal stories with the world.
Athletes will be encouraged to utilise platforms such as Twitter and Facebook by tweeting with the help of the ‘tree of dreams’, where they can write their aspirations on a paper leaf and include it alongside those of their peers.
There will also be a special studio-like set-up where athletes will be interviewed on camera to practice their skills with the media.
Finnish double Paralympian alpine skier Katja Saarinen will run the sessions alongside Mexican Arly Velasquez, also a double Paralympic alpine skier, in the dining hall at the Athletes’ Village.
At Toronto 2015, Proud Paralympian will also link with the athlete elections for the Americas Paralympic Committee taking place between 5-13 August and WADA’s anti-doping education programme.
Proud Paralympian can be found on Facebook and Twitter by searching for #ProudParalympian.
The Proud Paralympian workshops are the latest chance for athletes to be part of the pilot for the programme, 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.