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February 28, 2014 (ISN) – The IPC Observers Programme is set to get underway in Sochi, Russia, next Tuesday (4 March) with over 170 delegates enrolled to live, learn and experience first-hand the planning and operations behind staging the Paralympic Winter Games, which run from 7-16 March.

During the course of 13 days, delegates made up mainly of Paralympic Games Organising Committees (Rio 2016, PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020), Bid Cities for 2022 and organisers of other major global sporting events, such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup, will meet members from the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee and IPC staff to learn from their valuable expertise and experiences.

During the Programme, observers will participate in 30 venue and operational visits, take part in a number of workshops and be involved in a series of roundtable discussions, all with the aim of giving them in-depth knowledge about how each functional area operates during the Paralympic Winter Games and how the various Paralympic stakeholders’ needs are being met.

Apostolos Rigas, IPC’s Head of Knowledge Management, said: “The IPC Observers Programme is an extremely important component of the knowledge transfer process for future Paralympic Games Organising Committees and forms a fundamental part of the IPC Academy Campus 2014 activities.

“For all delegates, it gives a superb and unique behind-the-scenes view of a major international sporting event, as it provides an understanding of the physical Games environment and benefits from the commentary and analysis of Paralympic Games specialists.”

Running alongside the IPC Observers Programme, the IPC Academy is also organising the Games Experience Programme, together making the IPC Academy Campus 2014. The Games Experience Programme targets those involved with the supply chain of major event delivery, including corporate partners and governments.

Its goal over three days starting on 12 March is to provide a better understanding of the complex delivery requirements of a major event. Specifically, it aims to deliver a multi-stakeholder perspective of Games management by providing insights and privileged access to observe and understand core operating functions.

All participants in the IPC Academy Campus Programmes will join together in a Cocktail Function organised by the IPC Academy on the evening of 13 March.