Nine of the world’s most inspirational Paralympians are set to spread the word about the Paralympic Movement amongst athletes after receiving leadership training in Natal, Brazil, between 22-25 November.
Delivered under the banner of the International Paralympic Committee’s Proud Paralympian, athletes from Brazil, Argentina and Colombia with 36 medals from Paralympic Games between 1988 and 2012, attended.
The three day intensive course, in association with the IPC’s development arm the Agitos Foundation, coincided with the latest Road to Rio 2016: Agitos Foundation Sessions where 34 aspiring Paralympians and coaches gathered for training of their own.
It is hoped that Brazil’s Clodaoldo Silva, Adria Dos Santos, Samanta Bullock, Sheila Finder, Andre Andrade, Antonio Delfino and Renato Oliveira, Colombia’s Moises Fuentes Garcia and Argentina’s Ariel Quassi will now go on to support the IPC and their National Paralympic Committees with awareness raising efforts at future events and competitions.
They will become the leaders of the next generation, increasing the pool of Spanish and Portuguese speaking athletes who can lead the charge in spreading the word about what it means to be a Proud Paralympian in Latin America in the lead-up to and beyond the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Proud Paralympian is designed to support athlete development both on and off the field of play, as individuals and active citizens, and will be officially re-launched at Rio 2016.
During the Road to Rio 2016: Agitos Foundation Sessions, which is being run in collaboration with the Brazilian Paralympic Committee and Rio 2016, coaches and athletes received four days of training in sitting volleyball and goalball.
The sessions were facilitated by experts including Alessandro Tosim, the coach of the Brazilian national goalball team and Amauri Ribeiro, the national sitting volleyball team coach from 2004-2009.
Participants from Aruba, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico and Uruguay travelled to Natal.
The story of Colombia’s Luis Herazo, who attended one of the workshops in July 2015 and is now a Rio 2016 hopeful, is available on Youtube.