The final leg of the Road to Sao Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan American Games will get underway in Bogota, Colombia, on Saturday (18 February), benefitting aspiring swimmers and track and field athletes from the Americas.
The Road to Sao Paulo 2017 is the third in the ‘Road to’ series being organised by the International Paralympic Committee’s development arm, the Agitos Foundation. It joins successful editions for the build-up to the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. A similar programme is also being run with the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
In Bogota, 30 athletes and coaches from Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and Mexico will take part in workshops run by experts including Moises Fuentes. The Colombian swimmer has won medals at the last three Paralympic Games and will deliver a workshop from the IPC’s athlete education programme Proud Paralympian.
Fuentes said: “I am delighted to be making a contribution to the development of Para sport in the Americas by helping with the final training sessions just over one month ahead of Sao Paulo 2017.
“The Agitos Foundation has made huge strides in the region with a series of projects and programmes which have benefitted hundreds of athletes. The 2017 Youth Parapans offer us the opportunity to work with the Paralympians of the future, instilling in them the values of sportsmanship, fair play, a commitment to training and reaching your best.
“These activities are hugely important for the legacy of Latin America’s first Paralympic Games at Rio 2016, and shows the commitment of all the participating countries to grow and improve Para sport.”
Two sessions have already taken place in Havana, Cuba. In March 2016 a workshop in athletics and swimming took place for Caribbean countries, followed by another for sitting volleyball and goalball athletes and coaches in December.
In Bogota there will be theoretical and practical sessions for athletes, all aged under 18, and coaches.
Athletes will join sessions on the Paralympic Movement, introducing them to their roles as ambassadors for Para sport worldwide. They will also be equipped with the skills to train and compete healthily and ethically.
Coaches will be given practical and theoretical training in techniques that aim at improving the young athletes’ performance from the very beginning of their careers.
The Road to Sao Paulo 2017 is supported by the Americas Paralympic Committee, the Cuban and Colombian National Paralympic Committees and the German Federal Foreign Office, who partnered with the Agitos Foundation on the workshops in Havana.
The Sao Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan American Games will take place from 20-25 March.
The two previous editions of ‘Road to…’ have been delivered in partnership with the organising committees of Toronto 2015 and Rio 2016, as well as the Brazilian Paralympic Committee.
PyeongChang 2018’s Actualising the Dream project also aims to train sport managers, coaches and athletes in winter sports. This is being delivered in partnership with the Serbian Paralympic Committee and International Federations.