International Paralympic Committee

Changing Lives through Participation
02/24/2014 10:32

The Agitos Foundation, the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), has revealed that it is to launch an exciting digital media campaign – ChangeMakers - for the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

The concept of the campaign is to gather and publish stories from people around the world whose lives have changed due to para-sport participation, as well as sports teams and organisations that use sport for development and peace to change the lives of people with disabilities.

 

In order to find athletes, organisations and their stories, the Agitos Foundation will call for submissions targeted at National Paralympic Committees, International Federations, Non-Governmental Organisations, non-profit organisations and any other organisations using sport as a tool to positively change the lives of people with an impairment. The Agitos Foundation will look for stories where para-sport has benefitted personal development, social integration and peace building.

 

As well as raising awareness of individual stories and projects, the campaign aims to strengthen the network of development in para-sport, to uncover low-profile organisations and shine a light on the progressive work that takes place, often under the radar.

The Paralympic Movement and the IPC have an exceptional track record for using sport to showcase on a global level what can be achieved by people with an impairment. Events such as the Paralympic Games, dating back to 1960, have proven to change perceptions of people with an impairment and drive social inclusion. Paralympic Sport has shown it can help individuals recognise their own potential and empower them to lead for change in society, helping promote equality.

 

Sir Philip Craven, President of IPC highlights “Not only is the IPC’s vision being spread at the elite level, but also at the grassroots level of para-sport, where the same spirit is being displayed in our Agitos Foundation development camps and nations which are developing National Paralympic Committees.”

 

Over 1 billion people, nearly 15 percent of the world’s population, are living with an impairment and with 80 percent living in developing countries, the Agitos Foundation works with its member organisations, National Paralympic Committees and International Federations to establish pathways for potential para-athletes to enjoy the benefits of sport participant and elite competition.  The Agitos Foundation works actively with these members and partner organisations to ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted on 13 December 2006, are fulfilled. The Convention drives the perception of people with an impairment to new heights by claiming their rights and enabling them to be active members of society

 

The Agitos Foundation plays an important role in sustaining and delivering the Paralympic Movement’s global objective: to help create a more inclusive society. It does this by increasing awareness, forming partnerships and securing the necessary resources to implement programmes covering four key areas: sport development, awareness and education, advocacy and inclusion, and knowledge and research. The Agitos Foundation extends the philosophy of the Paralympic Games, whose athletes are role models of human potential and act as leaders of change. 

 

Paralympic Sport has shown it can help individuals recognise their own potential and empower them to lead change in society, helping promote equality. The Agitos Foundation generates opportunities for people with an impairment to practice sport in order to inspire them to reach their potential. Many Agitos Foundation programmes are directed towards emerging countries where people with a disability are often marginalised. The programmes help to raise awareness which in turn aids in shifting communities to be more inclusive.

 

The proclamation of an International Day of Sport for Development and Peace during 67th UN General Assembly and its recognition of the IPC as the primary vehicle to change society’s perceptions towards people with disabilities, is welcomed as a progressive step by the Paralympic Movement.  Celebration of this day gives global recognition of the power of sport and for the Paralympic Movement, sport for development and peace has two dimensions. Through sport, athletes challenge the way people think about themselves and how they think about each other, driving social inclusion forward. Secondly as a means to recover life, for the many thousands of people acquiring impairments as a result of conflict, natural disasters and injury, sport helps to regain self-confidence, independence and active participation in society.   All the stories that the Agitos Foundation receives will be posted on the Agitos Foundation Facebook page, which will also be launched next year on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. They will also be shared at www.agitosfoundation.org and on Twitter, @Agitos.

 

ChangeMakers will be the springboard for the Foundation’s Facebook page, which will become, along with its website, a networking hub for projects, programmes and resources around the world promoting sport and physical activity for people with an impairment and creating an inclusive society.  The hub provides access to information for stakeholders interested in para-sport with a motivation to enhance their understanding and create their own projects and programmes in the field of disability and sport.

 

The global recognition of sport as a tool for development and peace supports the long standing efforts of the Paralympic Movement to break barriers and work towards building societies in which people with a disability can enjoy the right to sports and social life.

The Agitos Foundation looks forward to celebrating this Day with its members, stakeholders and the international community.

 

Follow the Foundation on Twitter @Agitos for regular updates.

 

Contact

Jennie Wong | jennifer.wongparalympic.org

http://www.paralympic.org/agitos-foundation