The latest project from the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee, the Agitos Foundation, will get underway in Havana, Cuba, this weekend (26-28 March), this time supporting athletes and coaches preparing for the next Parapan American Youth Games.
The Road to the Parapan American Youth Games Sao Paulo 2017 is the third in the ‘Road to’ series and joins successful editions for the build-up to the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. A similar programme is being run with the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
In Havana, 30 swimming and athletics coaches and young athletes from Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, El Salvador, Aruba and Puerto Rico will receive expert training from Cuban experts.
Georg Schlachtenberger, Director of the Agitos Foundation, said: “We are delighted to introduce this latest series of workshops and begin to support the next generation of athletes earlier on in their careers than ever before.
“With the support of the Americas Paralympic Committee, the National Paralympic Committee of Cuba and the German Federal Foreign Office we can begin to improve the knowledge and conditions required for athletes to achieve their absolute best. We are delighted to receive support from the German Federal Foreign Office for the first time and that will allow us to promote the development of para-sports in emerging nations or regions.
“Our main aim is increase participation across the Caribbean region - at the last Parapan Youth Games in 2013, only five athletes from three Caribbean countries competed.
“We believe there is a huge amount of untapped talent which we can help to develop, increasing the depth and quality of the field for the benefit of para-sport all around the world.”
In Havana there will be theoretical and practical sessions for athletes, all aged under 18, and coaches.
Athletes will join sessions on the Paralympic Movement, introducing them to their roles as ambassadors for para-sport worldwide. They will also be equipped with the skills to train and compete healthily and ethically.
Coaches will be given practical and theoretical training in techniques that aim at improving the young athletes’ performance from the very beginning of their careers.
These workshops will be followed by practical sessions on all three days. Athletes and coaches will learn training techniques, and athletes will be tested to discover the areas of performance where they can improve.
The two previous editions of ‘Road to…’ have been delivered in partnership with the organisers of Toronto 2015, Rio 2016 and the Brazilian Paralympic Committee.
PyeongChang 2018’s Actualising the Dream project also aims to train sport managers, coaches and athletes in winter sports. This is being delivered in partnership with the Serbian Paralympic committee and International Federations.