In a momentous event for the organization of the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games, Imelda Guzman de Leon, head of the DIF Jalisco volunteer programme was named the President of the Parapan American Games, which will be held from 12-21 November.
Witnesses to the ceremony included International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Xavier Gonzalez, America’s Paralympic Committee (APC) President Octavio Londoño, DIF Jalisco General Director Felipe Valdez de Anda, COPAG Director of Sports and Operations and Parapan American Games Assistant Director Jorge Bermejo.
Imelda Guzman de Leon said: “I’m proud and very pleased to take this role on behalf of my DIF Jalisco colleagues because this is not just a commitment for Jalisco but, also for all of Mexico. The eyes of the world are on us as everyone pays attention to what’s happening in Guadalajara.
“At DIF, we are convinced about the need for sensitivity towards disabilities and we want to sensitize all of society.
“We want to invite everyone to feel the spirit of the Parapan American Games so that this celebration serves as an example thanks to its organization and levels of participation. Above all, let us show our warmth and our commitment to quality to everyone who visits us.”.
The newly appointed Parapan American Games President will be tasked with creating as much awareness of the Games as possible and to also ensure the 4,500 volunteers who are expected to participate are properly trained. This partnership with DIF ensures that all of the disability issues are accounted for in both the city and in the sporting venues, in addition to the mobility logistics for athletes with a disability.
“Over a month ago we asked Mrs. Imelda to take on the responsibility of becoming the President of the Parapan American Games Organizing Committee so that these Games can get the attention they deserve.
“We also wanted someone to attend to the issues and who would also help us coordinate at the state level with the DIF so, DIF Director Felipe Valdez is joining the effort as well; we can’t do it alone as we needs as much support as we can get.” explained Ivar Sisniega, Guadalajara 2011 international relations and sports director.
The Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games to be held in Jalisco will be of great competitive quality as all the sports will serve as qualifying events for the London 2012 Paralympic Games with a participation of approximately 1,500 athletes in 13 different sports.
Octavio Londoño, APC President acknowledged the commitment that the Organizing Committee is demonstrating and assured that this edition will be better than the previous installment. He confirmed that great progress is being made in sports for people with a disability since 26 countries now belong to the APC and everyone is convinced that soon, all of the American Continent will have future representation in these Games.
Octavio Londoño said: “We want to tear down social barriers. Sports do not discriminate; these games will leave behind a nice legacy and will improve the quality of life for many.”
This week the International Paralympic Committee will be working with the Organizing Committee to review the progress of the organizing committee in various areas in preparation for this Parapan American event to be celebrated in November.