Sports training held in Morocco to strengthen Paralympic Movement

Sixty-nine participants from 12 countries in Africa took part in a Regional Sport Training event in Marrakesh, Morocco, in April 04 Jun 2024
Sixteen people pose for a photograph with IBSA flags
The three-day event included classroom-based courses for coaches and officials, as well as training sessions and workshops for athletes, in blind football and Para athletics. 

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) held a Regional Sport Training event in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the end of April as part of efforts to strengthen the Paralympic Movement in Africa. The activity aimed to support athletes, develop coaches and technical officials, and empower IPC member countries in the region to reach their full potential. 

Supported by World Para Athletics and International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football, 69 participants from 12 countries in Africa took part in the event. It also included classroom-based courses for coaches and officials, as well as training sessions and workshops for athletes, in blind football and Para athletics.  

Through the NPC (National Paralympic Committees) Development Programme, supported by the IPC’s worldwide Paralympic partner Toyota, the IPC delivers sport training events in different regions to stimulate further Para sport participation and development around the world. 

Supporting athletes

During this three-day event, participants had the chance to engage with instructors and leading practitioners in Para athletics and blind football. A Para athletics training camp for athletes and coaches, including a Proud Paralympian workshop provided an opportunity for Para athletes to learn about the history, values, and legacy of the Paralympic Movement. The Proud Paralympian workshop facilitated the exchange of knowledge and experience on maintaining high-performance health and a well-being regimen, as well as managing media and professional image as athletes.

After the training camp, the IPC supported over 20 athletes and coaches to participate and compete in the World Para Athletics Grand Prix, held in the Grand Stade de Marrakesh. 

Developing leaders

The Regional Sport Training in Morocco is the second to be held this year as part of the NPC Development Project. The IPC organises Regional Sport Trainings with the aim of amplifying opportunities for athletes, coaches, classifiers, administrators, and technical officials involved in various Paralympic sports.

A key element is increasing the quality and quantity of sport technical personnel to coach and produce top quality Para athletes. To date this year, one training in Jamaica targeting the Americas region has been held with one more planned later in the year in Asia. 

The RST programme in the Morocco offered five courses for coaches and technical officials, who play a key role in the growth of the Paralympic Movement in their regions.

Mariano Travaglino, IBSA Football Referee Coordinator, said: "This Blind Football National Technical Official’s course, part of the IPC’s Regional Sport Training is of vital importance for IBSA to not only develop new Technical Officials, but also introduce the sport in many countries." 

While Isak Abdulkadir Abdullahi, participant from Somalia at the World Para Athletics (WPA) National Technical Officials course said: “Participating in this course has been a transformative experience. As one of the first aspiring national technical officials in Somalia, I’ve not only gained a deeper understanding of what it takes to become a WPA national technical referee but also feel empowered to help grow Para athletics as a professional sport in my country.”

Paralympic values

Participants of the sports training event also took part in a Proud Paralympian workshop. Proud Paralympian, the IPC’s education programme delivered by athletes to athletes, provides education about Paralympic values and practical support throughout athlete careers. The programme endeavours to maximise talent and develop committed ambassadors capable of inspiring the next generation, equipping them with the tools they need to excel both on and off the field of play. Empowered by their peers, athletes learn to find their place in the Paralympic Movement and become leaders in Para sports.

Mayombo Mukendi Paulin, DR Congo Para athlete in javelin, shotput, and discus, and Proud Paralympian workshop participant said: “Through the Proud Paralympian course, I've gained valuable skills for my development, learning many things I previously didn't know about the Paralympic Movement.

“It has been instrumental in breaking down barriers of what’s possible for me and building my confidence. Thanks to this experience, I not only feel fully prepared to confidently compete in the WPA Marrakesh Grand Prix but am also strengthened with life skills that will benefit me beyond my competitive career.”