The second and final day of the inclusion summit was full of action with speakers and panelists leading the discussion on inclusion. Craig Spence, Chief Brand and Communications Officer, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) started the session with the recognition of the International Day of People with Disabilities.
In his keynote address, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), “Quality rehabilitation and accessibility is the inclusion of people with disabilities in sport and beyond. WHO is working with countries around the world to improve access to services for people with disabilities as part of each country’s journey to universal health coverage. ”
The CEO of Remy Roux, General Director of the AfD, spoke about the importance of investing in projects in popular sports-para-sports. “We turned 80 yesterday and it was very inspiring. One of the TED talks we had was about sport and development. ”The talk highlighted a blind African soccer team and their journey. Roux quoted the famous quote from the former IPC President Xavi Gonzalez‘Heroes are made at the Olympics. At the Paralympics, the heroes come. ‘
Sergio Diaz Granados of the Latin American Development Bank pointed out the role of organizations like his. “There is no doubt that development banks have a fundamental role to play in getting involved in the sporting agenda. But the first step is to understand the relationship between exercise and development. I believe that sport is not only a human right, but also a driver for the transformation of societies and access to other human rights. “
Sergio Diaz Granados, Latin American Development Bank
Anne HNSry from Handic – International stated that “the organization is an active member of the international development and consortium of the Disability Alliance. We work in situations of poverty exclusion conflicts and crises in around 50 countries around the world and use community-based inclusive sports activities in development and crisis situations with a special focus on children and young people who live in host communities and camps. “
Facundo Chavez, UN Human Rights and Disability Advisor for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, provided insight into how the transformation of the lives of 1.2 billion people in the local community must begin.
An insightful session was held with notable Paralympians bringing their stories to life. Husnah Kukundakwe, Ugandan Paralympist, said: “When I was five years old, I realized that I was different from others. Although I was initially embarrassed, I quickly realized that you can’t hide while swimming. Sport has helped me change my life. Helped me to feel more confident. ”
Kukundakwe made her Paralympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and was the youngest athlete to compete in the Games at the age of 14. At Tokyo 2020 she became Uganda’s only second Paralympic swimmer. As a result of their hard work, Kukundakwe was named “Most Inspirational Athlete of the Year” 2019 by the Uganda Swimming Federation and “Most Disciplined Athlete of the Year” by the Uganda National Paralympic Committee.
“I want to share my story to inspire other children to join the sport and fight hard to make it to the Paralympics,” said the swimmer. Kukundakwe has already done a lot to help young people change their lives. “I’m thinking of starting an organization that’s already underway and getting young people excited about the sport. I’m actually considering starting a series like this on Instagram in which I talk about children and sports. ”
Para-athletes Husnaha Kukundakwe and Liz Johnson at the inclusion summit in 2021.
British Paralympist Liz Johnson credited the sport with changing her life. “It gave me a chance to explore my competitive nature,” she said. Of course, success stories are full of challenges, and so are these competitors. “I think the existing barriers are often social and process-oriented. Wherever sport has helped me, I almost had to prove to them in a sporting environment what I am c -able of so that they would notice me in other areas, ”says Johnson.
Regarding the impact of the Paralympic Games on changing the lives of people with disabilities, Johnson stated that finding a role model isn’t really looking for someone who looks like you. It’s the characteristics of the person that -peals. “Many people with disabilities have so much negativity that they almost bear the burden of other people’s ignorance. So it is our responsibility as a community to rebuild it. “
Renowned panelists will discuss the role of assistive technology (AT) as a vehicle to promote the social inclusion of people with disabilities.
Andy Stevenson moderated a stimulating discussion on the role of assistive technology (AT) as a vehicle for promoting the social inclusion of people with disabilities. Marlou van Rhijn, Paralympist from the Netherlands, a former sprinter who was used with the help of carbon fiber lower leg prostheses. The panel was also hosted by Ch -al Khasnabis, Technical Officer in the Disability and Rehabilitation Team in the Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability. He believes, “Access to quality resources is a prerequisite for most para-athletes to compete and win. The positive image of the para-athletes and the demand for high-quality aids allow the aids industry to get better and better with every Paralympic. ”
When the summit came to an end, the further way was discussed. Vladimir Cuk, International Disability Alliance, spoke about the Global Disability Summit, which will be organized in February 2022. The summit will be mainly virtual and aims to mobilize efforts to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
In her closing speech, Norwegian State Secretary Bjørg Sandkjæ mentioned that Paralympic athletes are among the greatest sports heroes in Norway. “We look forward to working closely to raise the bar and inspire new ambitious commitments in the lead up to the Global Disability Summit.”