The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Academy recently held its first Classifier Training Programmes for IPC Athletics at the Avendi Hotel in Bad Honnef, Germany.
Taking place from 24-28 June, the programme included a three-day course for “Educators”, lead by International Rugby Board (IRB) Training Manager Mark Harrington, and a two-day course on “Classifier Recertification”, led by the newly trained “Educators”.
Selected senior IPC Athletics classifiers were invited for the “Educators” course. This course aims at identifying individuals that will be the teachers on future classification courses in the sport. In an intensive training, teaching styles moved from a lecturing approach to ‘learning through practice’.
A total of 14 participants afterwards attended the “Recertification” course, which was a training programme based on competency, led by the newly trained Educators. All different aspects of classifier competencies were addressed, including: how to adopt a systematic approach, conduct tests for impairment and activity limitation, working as a team, administration skills, interpret and communicate results, and risk management. Following the course, all classifiers will continue the assessment of competencies on the job with upcoming practical classification opportunities. Once successful, they will be the first IPC Academy certified IPC Athletics Classifiers.
The Recertification course also was the assessment for the newly trained Educators. The following individuals successfully passed the competency requirements to now be officially appointed IPC Athletics Classification Educator:
Hilary Beeton (South Africa)
Emilie Newell (Canada)
Sean Tweedy (Australia)
Rudi Van den Abbeele (France)
The Educator programme was the first one under the IPC Academy ‘Classifier and Officials’ programme, and the outcome of a successful co-operation between the IPC Academy and the IRB Academy.
The success of the IPC Academy’s first training programme was due large in part to the support from National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and the value they essentially saw in the course for the 14 participants. More training programmes in the same style and organizational methods will follow in the coming months.