International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
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International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

Oceania athletes embrace opportunity to learn in Australia

 

Para-athletes from Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa are heading home with newly acquired knowledge and skills gained through attending the EQUIP GAPs camp conducted on the Gold Coast this past week.  

The Commonwealth Games Federation provided funding to engage para-athletes from the Oceania region with a view to enhance their understanding of the high performance environment in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held on the Gold Coast, Australia, during April 2014.  

The Griffith University provided staff and students to assist with the presentation of information, collation of data, facilities for testing and training as well as the overall planning of the camp.  The Oceania Paralympic Committee (OPC) oversaw the selection of athletes and coaches invited to attend the camp by reviewing performances of those who have previously participated in the Agitos Foundation projects which have been conducted in the Oceania region.

Paralympian and National para-throws coach Mr John Eden attended the camp to provide technical expertise gained through his extensive experience as a competitor at 5 Paralympic Games in addition to his 4 as a coach.  “This camp has been one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had as a coach.  Seeing young athletes respond to coaching in a positive manner and wanting to learn more will mean they can now return to their countries as role models for other people with disability.  This camp was more than just about technical coaching, it was about showing people how they can change their lives through sport”, he said. 

OPC Agitos project coordinator Mr Chris Nunn believes this initiative has shown the benefits of organisations working together with a common purpose.  My Nunn stated “Both the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Griffith University are to be commended on the approach they have taken to develop this concept. It has enabled another layer of education to be added to the work which has previously been undertaken through the Agitos Foundation.”

Athletes must now await the results of the allocation of invitations to athletes who will be invited through the Bipartite application process for the Commonwealth Games.  One thing is for sure, each athlete will return home to training with a greater understanding of the requirements of a high performance athletes and the commitment it takes to become successful.  They are now preparing for the Pacific Mini-games being contested in Vanuatu in December.

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