From 28 November to 1 December the Agitos Foundation, together with the Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) and the Korean Paralympic Committee, hosted a Para athletics and Para swimming training camp in Icheon, South Korea.
With 65 athletes and 28 coaches, this was the largest training camp ever hosted by the Agitos Foundation, with participants from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam and hosts Korea.
The workshop was the first following the agreement that the three organisations signed earlier this year during the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games to support developing countries in the Asian Region. It was held in the state-of-the-art facilities of the KPC Icheon Training Centre, which has more than 18 Para sport specific venues.
Myung-ho Lee, President of Korean Paralympic Committee, said:
“This camp is the valuable result of the promises among KPC, KOICA and IPC to develop Para sports. I expect the coaching skills of coaches and the performance of athletes to be developed by participating in the camp and interchanging among each other.”
Ms. Mikyung Lee, President of KOICA, said:
"Sports for Paralympians is especially important in enhancing the rights of persons with disabilities. Sport provides new opportunities and guarantees social participation and self-realisation through restoring one's mind and body.
“KOICA will strive further to contribute to a society where persons with disabilities can pursue their dreams through enhanced capacity and actively participate as valuable members of the society."
During the training camp, athletes and coaches were able to improve and exchange their knowledge guided by Para athletics educators Richard Robert and Lawrence Judge (USA) and Para swimming educators Gary Francis (New Zealand) and Martin Salmingkeit (Switzerland).
Gary Francis, from New Zealand, said: “I think it’s really important to increase the number of these types of training camps. The more Agitos Foundation can do, the better it is for Para sports community. It’s important for the world”
Para athletics coach Mariyam Imran Shami, from Pakistan, said: “Training camps like this from the Agitos Foundation are important for developing countries like Pakistan. I can improve as a coach and in return, my athletes will improve.”
Alongside the event, the Agitos Foundation organised morning sessions of Proud Paralympian workshops for the training athletes, in which they could learn about the Paralympic Movement, ethics and fair play, athlete health and wellbeing and how to work with the media.
Sessions were led by Proud Paralympian leaders Gyu Dae Kim (Para athletics), from South Korea, and Yu Chiu Yee (wheelchair fencing), from Hong Kong.