Agitos Foundation’s education programme completes first year with new agreements and units
To mark the United Nations Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated on 3 December, the Agitos Foundation is announcing 16 new agreements with National Paralympic Committees to implement the I’mPOSSIBLE education program.
Together with Japan, Malawi and Kazakhstan, which have been already successfully implementing the programme, now Brazil, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Georgia, Grenada, Hong Kong, Iran, Peru, Luxembourg, Mexico, Portugal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Korea and Zambia will also use I’mPOSSIBLE as a tool for social change.
I’mPOSSIBLE was launched in 2017 with the aim of promoting social inclusion by raising awareness of the Paralympic Movement. It offers teaching resources, lessons plans, worksheets and inspirational videos to teachers and learners, aiming to change perceptions about people with an impairment and inspire the next generation through the Paralympic values.
The resources available through I’mPOSSIBLE consist of units with lesson plans featuring information on different Para sports and the inspirational achievements of Para athletes that showcase their abilities.
Last December the programme was launched with five unit aimed at learners aged 6-12 years. This year, five more units will be added for the same age group and another five units aimed at learners aged 13-18.
Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “One year after launching I’mPOSSIBLE we are now able to see how it has started to change society’s attitudes toward people with an impairment in Japan, Kazakhstan and Malawi, and that’s why we are so glad to take it to 16 more countries. We are also delighted that now students aged 13-18 will also be able to learn more about the Paralympic Movement and our values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality.”
Japan was the first country to pilot a version in early 2017, in the build up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and so far about 15% elementary schools used the programme. Funded by the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center (NFPSC), the Japanese version of I’mPOSSIBLE was created with the support from Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC).
Yasushi Yamawaki, Chairperson of the NFPSC and President of JPC, said: “It means a lot to engage young children with the Paralympic Movement. We can create bigger fan base towards the 2020 Games and also embrace inclusive mindset through school education.”
The programme implementation is also funded by the Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD), a longtime supporter of the Paralympic Movement. In 2016 GSD announced a five-year partnership with the Agitos Foundation focused on education programmes like I’mPOSSIBLE.
Dr. Steven Ungerleider, GSD Executive Board Member, said: “All of us at GSD appreciate the powerful message and values the I’mPOSSIBLE program instills in youth. This kind of education helps create more inclusive communities across the world, and we applaud the Agitos Foundation for this important work.”
I’mPOSSIBLE’s name is inspired by an iconic moment from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
During the Closing Ceremony, the word ‘impossible’ appeared floating from the roof the stadium. A wheelchair user then appeared, faced with the challenge of climbing a 15m long rope to reach the top of the lettering. When he got there he became a flying apostrophe between the letter ‘I’ and ‘m’ in ‘Impossible’ showing the world people can achieve anything.