Eighteen people from six countries across the Americas and International Federations attended an eligibility workshop in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from 2-3 April.
Delegates from the host country, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and the International Table Tennis Federation were given training and information.
‘Eligibility’ is the process which athletes have to go through in order to be compete at International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (INAS) competitions and, crucially, advance to classification for Paralympic sports.
The workshop, supported by the Agitos Foundation, aimed to help develop knowledge and expertise in the region.
Delegates were a mix of practitioners, psychologists and sport managers. They were given an introduction to the process and INAS, the differences between eligibility and classification, how INAS defines its criteria for athletes and the process for registering competitors. Professor Jan Burns MBE, INAS’ Head of Eligibility, delivered the session alongside INAS Executive Director Nick Parr.
The workshop also provided an awareness of the competition pathways in Paralympic and non-Paralympic sports. Discussions were held with representatives of Costa Rica, paving the way to them becoming an INAS member.
Continuing the development of sports for athletes with intellectual impairments in the Americas, a follow-up session is currently being planned for later this year.
The Agitos Foundation is the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee. INAS received support for the workshops through its 2018 Grant Support Programme.