To mark the United Nations Day of Persons with Disabilities, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and its development arm the Agitos Foundation are launching I’mPOSSIBLE, a pioneering global education programme which aims to promote social inclusion by raising awareness of the Paralympic Movement.
The programme 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 15 units with lesson plans for children aged between 6-8 years and 9-12 years, featuring information on different Para sports and the inspirational achievements of Para athletes that showcase their abilities. Samples of the materials can be downloaded at the programme’s newly launched website www.paralympic.org/imPOSSIBLE.
A pilot version of the programme was launched earlier this year in Japan in the build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. With support from the Japanese Paralympic Committee and the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre, I’mPOSSIBLE was distributed in spring to 20,000 elementary schools throughout Japan. The National Paralympic Committees of Colombia and Armenia have also piloted local versions of the programme while the National Paralympic Committee of Serbia will revamp its current education project with I’mPOSSIBLE materials.
Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “We are delighted that youngsters around the globe will learn more about the wonders of the Paralympic Movement. Through engaging, educational activities, I’mPOSSIBLE will help continue changing society’s perceptions toward people with impairment across the globe and will support National Paralympic Committees in their mission to promote the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality.”
On Saturday 2 December, Parsons and the IPC’s Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez took part in a signing ceremony in Barcelona, in which a partnership between FC Barcelona Foundation, the IPC and the Agitos Foundation was announced. The first outcome of the collaboration is the adoption of the I’mPOSSIBLE materials as a core component of the FC Barcelona Foundation’s global education programme FutbolNet.
National Paralympic Committees, Organising Committees of Para sport events as well as non-governmental organisations and other entities working to promote inclusion through sport are encouraged to contact the Agitos Foundation at i-am-possible@
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.