Program to strengthen coaching in parasports, increase certified
classifiers and help teams access specialized sport equipment
TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - With less than two years to go before
Canada hosts the largest Parapan Am Games ever, parasport in the
Americas and Caribbean is receiving a major boost.
The TO2015 Parapan American Development Program will help National
Paralympic Committees (NPCs) in 28 countries and territories:
build their expertise in sport management
strengthen coaching in athletics, goalball and swimming
develop national and international classifiers for physically and
visually impaired athletes
facilitate access to specialized sport equipment.
Last week, the program was warmly received by delegates at the Americas
Paralympic Committee (APC) General Assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
"Canada has long been a leader in the Paralympic Movement," said Ian
Troop, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am
Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).
"This innovative program — which is a first in the history of the
Parapan Am Games — will ensure the TORONTO 2015 Games leave a lasting
legacy in the Americas and Caribbean by promoting inclusion and
increasing participation in parasport."
The TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games will take place August 7-14, 2015, and
feature 1,500 athletes from 28 countries and territories competing in
15 sports, all of which will be qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Paralympic
Games. They will also feature the Parapan Am debut of wheelchair rugby
and the return of football 7-a-side to the program for the first time
The TO2015 Parapan American Development Program is divided into three
pillars. The first — the Agitos Foundation Sessions— is a joint project
between TO2015 and the Agitos Foundation, the International Paralympic
Committee's development arm.
"The next four years — with the TORONTO 2015 Parapan American Games and
Rio 2016 Paralympics —present a huge opportunity for the Paralympic
Movement to grow in size and scale in the Americas, especially in terms
of participating countries and athletes at major events," explained
Georg Schlachtenberger, director of the Agitos Foundation.
"The TORONTO 2015 Parapan American Development Program is a great
initiative to help achieve the goal of growing the Movement in the
Americas and the whole Paralympic Movement is grateful to TO2015 for
making this initiative happen.
"By making our NPCs stronger in the region, it will help increase
participation and, in turn, performance at major events such as the
TORONTO 2015 Parapan American Games."
The Agitos Foundation Sessions, which will feature workshops in several
locations in the Americas and Caribbean, will start in December and run
until September 2014. Applications are now open for the first NPC Sport
Management Workshop in Bogota, Colombia, held from December 6 to 8,
NPCs can send up to two delegates, and a travel grant for one
participant per NPC will be provided. The closing date for applications
is October 25, 2013. Full details can be found at agitosfoundation.org.
"Canada looks forward to welcoming the very best para-athletes and
coaches from the Americas and the Caribbean to this major sporting
event," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "Our
Government is proud to support these Games and applauds this great
initiative by the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Organizing Committee
and the Agitos Foundation to promote and strengthen parasport in the
In addition to the Agitos Foundation Sessions, the NPCs will also have
up to $5,000 in funding to purchase sport equipment at the TORONTO 2015
Parapan Am Games' chef de mission seminar marketplace in the fall of
There will also be funding and opportunities available to attend
classification training programs in collaboration with test events for
the 2015 Parapan American Games. This will increase the number of
international certified classifiers in the Americas and Caribbean.
"Ontario is proud to welcome athletes of all abilities who will inspire
and elevate parasport competitions in the global arena for the largest
Parapan American Games in 2015," said Michael Chan, Minister
Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. "By
attracting the world's top para-athletes to Ontario, the Parapan Am
Games will give us all an opportunity to celebrate their athleticism,
their achievements and their determination. These Games will also
leave a proud and enduring legacy of parasport infrastructure that will
make our communities more accessible and more inclusive for future
For the first time in the history of the Parapan Am Games, TO2015 will
also provide a support grant to each participating NPC to contribute
towards their travel costs for attending the Games in Canada.
"As the Host City of the 2015 Parapan Am Games, the City of Toronto is
excited about this initiative", said Toronto City Councillor Mark
Grimes (Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore), Mayor's Pan Am Games Champion.
"Programs like this, which support para-thletes and increase their
opportunities to compete on an international level, are to be
applauded. In Toronto, we support parasport and are proud to invest in
the development of world-class, accessible facilities such as the
Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre which will serve the parasport community
through the 2015 Games and beyond. We look forward to welcoming these
amazing athletes to Toronto in August 2015."
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015)
is tasked with the responsibility of planning, managing and delivering
the Games. Its mission is to ignite the spirit through a celebration of
sport and culture. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place
July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14.
The 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of
Ontario, as well as other partners and sponsors. CIBC is the Lead
Partner of the Games.
For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.
SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information:
Director, media relations and chief spokesperson TO2015