The Agitos Foundation has launched the ‘Road to Lima 2019’ programme with Proud Paralympian and boccia courses. Forty-six people from 16 Americas countries took part, as the Peruvian capital city prepares for the biggest edition yet of the Parapan American Games.
The participants came from Argentina, Aruba, Bermuda, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
The courses, in partnership with the Lima 2019 Organising Committee, provide training and educational opportunities to coaches, classifiers, technical officials and athletes. The goal is to improve coaching, classification and sport management in Para sport to ensure a genuine and lasting legacy in the Americas.
Paralympic Association of Peru President Lucha Villar said: “We are very happy with the ‘Road to Lima 2019’ programme. I want to thank the Agitos Foundation, Lima 2019 and all people involved for making it possible.
“As the host country for the Parapans this is one of the best ways to bring more people into the Paralympic Movement. This is going to make a big difference because all participants will now go back to their countries and make a difference in each of them.”
Boccia classifier Jorge Parra, who conducted the boccia classification course, said: “It was very interesting and important to stage this course. Not all the countries in Latin America have the same level of development, so we try to help the countries who are starting to develop the sport.”
Paraguay’s kinesiologist Carlos Jane, who took part in the boccia classification course, added: “The course was amazing; I tried to get the best out of it.
“I think I am the first one in Paraguay who takes it so I have a great responsibility. I am already coordinating, together with the other participant from Paraguay that took the coaching course, how we are going to expand the sport in different cities in Paraguay.”
This is the fifth time that the Agitos Foundation has partnered with the Organising Committee of a Games to create a systematic approach for a sustainable and comprehensive growth of the Paralympic Movement.
It was previously done for the Toronto 2015 Parapans, Rio 2016 Paralympics, Sao Paulo 2017 Youth Parapans and PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympics.