Dubai: Asia is surely headed towards a better empowerment of Paralympic athletes, provided the National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) from the region show a willingness to avail of the various initiatives offered, according to an expert representing an international sports authority.
Jose Cabo, senior manager at Agitos Foundation Development that runs on the tagline of ‘Developing sports, changing lives’ observed that Asia is slowly but surely catching up with the rest of the world while doing enough to push the Paralympic Movement forward on the continent.
“At Agitos, we’ve got a range of funding opportunities but we want the NPCs to come forward and avail of these benefits. We are here to back you, to assist you and to support you in whatever way you want to,” Cabo told Gulf News on the second day of the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) General Assembly that is being held in Dubai till February 6.
As per figures available, Agitos Foundation handled a total of 30 projects with a spending capacity of 630,000 euros that were funded under its Grant Support Programme (GSP) in 2018. But, of these projects just one was handled in the Asian region [in Bhutan]. “We want the NPCs to come forward. We are here to help and assist each and every one,” Cabo noted.
Under the GSP 2019 initiative, an amount of 650,000 euros has been earmarked for IPC member organisations with the body opening out acceptance of applications from July 1. “We are working closely with the APC as they can play a bigger role here, and we can see that the trend here is changing already. We would expect bigger Paralympic nations such as Korea, China and Iran to team up with neighbouring countries and submit a common application whereby both nations stand to benefit,” Cabo suggested.
“There is a need to better engage with each other as we belong to one common family. In this modern world we have better channels of communication and new opportunities as well that can benefit everyone,” the Spaniard added.
Based in Bonn, Germany, Agitos Foundation is the leading global organisation developing sport activities for people with an impairment as a tool for changing lives and contributing to an inclusive society for all. As a build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, the Japan Paralympic Committee (JPC) has teamed up with Agitos to develop three workshops on sports management and athletes’ training camps to be held in Tokyo in October 2019, February 2020 and May 2020.
Agitos Foundation’s ‘I’mPossible’ is a specialised development programme where teachers are trained and empowered to handle programmes at the grassroots level.