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

OCP Workshop 1 Report - NPC Vanuatu

Building the capacity of the Paralympic Committee, its National Federations and affiliated organisations transitioning to full membership is a key objective in the Vanuatu Paralympic Committees Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020 and the 2018 VPC Business Plan.

Following the IPC/AGITOS supported workshop in Fiji (1-4 February 2018), the next planned stage in capacity building was for the organization of a Workshop – the first of three – to be held in country. Accordingly, invitations were sent to potential participants representing the Vanuatu Government, VASANOC, National Federations, NGOs/CSOs active in inclusion and disability and potential corporate sponsors.

Of those 36 invited, 29 attended. Representatives of Beach Volleyball, Rowing, Tennis, Table Tennis, Swimming, Athletics, Cricket, Hockey, Football and Archery attended. In addition, the Australian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Jennifer Da Rin attended to support the Workshop with Susan Kaltovei, the High Commission’s Inclusion Focal Point Officer and Yohan Lemmonier, the Media and Outreach Officer. Ginette Morris, Disability Desk Officer from the Ministry of Justice & Community Services attended. An unexpected visit and presentation on the role of sport in changing lives was made by Australian gold medalist and para World Record holder (long jump) Carlie Beattie. Carlie was assisting with the Melanesian Athletics Championships being held at the same time as the Workshop.

In accordance with recommendations of the OPC Workshop (Jan/Feb 2018), the VPC has draft MOUs (as listed below) submitted to NFs and stakeholder groups active in para sport to formalize & strengthen the VPC’s relationships & presence. The VPC has signed two MOUs (Vanuatu Athletics Federation and Hockey) and is reviewing draft MOUs with Tennis and Swimming while further negotiating with others. This Workshop proved to be a powerful and timely tool to further explain the role of the VPC and the purpose of the MOUs.

Margaret Macfarlane, President of the Paralympic Committee spoke on the history of the VPC, Georges Langa, Para Rower, and now an Outreach and Advocacy Officer with the Vanuatu Society for People with a Disability spoke on how sport has changed his life. Friana Kwevira, Vanuatu’s Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist in Javelin spoke on the challenges she has faced and the importance of sport as an enabler – changing attitudes and creating opportunities.

Don Elgin was the key Note speaker and also helped the two Program Leads, guiding their presentation. Don challenged the workshop participants, broken up into working groups, with two questions:

What can you/your sport do to help the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee to thrive?

What will you /your sport need from the VPC to make this happen?

“Value adding” to the sponsorship of IPC/Oceania and AGITOS Foundation was undertaken by organizing meetings for Don Elgin with the VPC’s stakeholder partners, potential sponsors and media. Prior to the Workshop, Don met with the full staff of a local French Bank – BRED Banque – to do a presentation on teams and goal setting. The Bank presented a cheque for 450,000 vt to support the team of 4 athletes from Santo in the Melanesian Athletics Championships and a full time job for Friana Kwevira from 1st June 2018.

Important meetings were also held with VASANOC, with radio and the press. Nationally broadcast interviews with Don Elgin assisted with raising the profile of the Workshop, the VPC and most importantly our parathletes. Meetings arising from the Workshop are on-going.

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