The development of parasport received a boost in Asia thanks to the two “Road to Tokyo 2020” workshops organized by the Agitos Foundation, in collaboration with the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and funded by the Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC).
These development activities aim to develop human resources and expertise in the field of Paralympic sports, increase the sporting skills and technical knowledge of National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and raise awareness of the Paralympic movement across Asia in the prospect of the 2020 Paralympic Games.
Two workshops were held in 2019 and 2020. The third was scheduled for earlier this year but had to be canceled due to the pandemic. Rather, the funds (around 100,000 EUR) were used to support classification opportunities for Tokyo 2020.
The ‘Road to Tokyo 2020’ series has received support from World Archery, Badminton World Federation, International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo, World Para Powerlifting, World Para Swimming, International Table Tennis Federation and World Taekwondo.
Rita Van Driel, Board Member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Chair of the Agitos Foundation Executive Committee, said: “I would like to express my gratitude to the Japanese Paralympic Committee, Tokyo 2020 and all IFs and CNP involved for having contributed to the success of these workshops.
“Improving the training and management of Paralympic sports across Asia is fundamental to maximizing the impact of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and therefore creating a lasting legacy in the region. “
Yukihko Nunomura, Tokyo 2020 Director of Operations, said: “I must mention our deep feeling of appreciation for the Agitos Foundation, the International Federations and the Japanese Paralympic Committee for their guidance and support. We are proud to be able to offer Asia such a great opportunity to develop and raise the bar for Paralympic sports and the Paralympic movement through the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. ”
The first of the “On the Road to Tokyo 2020” workshops took place from November 20-22, 2019, with 42 coaches from 16 Asian countries participating in para archery, judo, para powerlifting and para taekwondo at the University. of Tsukuba, one of the most prestigious in Japan.
The participants came from Bhutan, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Singapore, Tajikistan, Yemen, from Vietnam and host Japan. The classes were led by educators Chakir Chelbat and Usman Dildar (Para taekwondo), Dan Kent (Para powerlifting), Ian Johns (judo), Vincent Hybois and Martin Rogers (Para archery).
The following educational classes were held in Nagoya, Japan, February 25-27, 2020, and focused on Parabadminton, Table Tennis, and Para-swimming. A total of 40 administrators and coaches from 16 NPCs were present: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Tajikistan and Vietnam.
Van Driel added: “The Road to the Games has been one of our main development programs since 2015 and we are pleased to see how it continues to ensure the expansion and growth of the Paralympic Movement into new territories. “