Athletes who compete in the Paralympic Games, which are international sporting events for athletes with physical disabilities. The Paralympics are held in coordination the Olympic Games, and the sports and events included in the Paralympics are similar to those in the Olympics. Para athletes may have a variety of physical disabilities, they are professionals in their field and manifestation of strength in endurance and human spirit.
We in Women Lead Sports we also support the leadership of women in the Para-sports disciplines as much as possible. We do this by training in leadership skills, running successful political campaigns and designing a winning strategy. During the games the athletes from all over the world, and they all have a physical disability, including amputations, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, and visual impairments, among others. They compete in a range of sports, including track and field, swimming, cycling, basketball, and many others.
Para athletes are an inspiration to us all, showing us the true meaning of perseverance, grit, and discipline. At the last Paralympic Games, we saw some truly impressive performances from top athletes in a range of sports.
One standout athlete was Ntando Mahlangu, a South African sprinter who won silver in the men's 100m T42 event. At just 19 years old, Ntando is a rising star in the world of Para athletics. He was born with a congenital amputation and took up running at a young age as a way to stay active. Despite facing challenges and setbacks, he has worked hard to become one of the top sprinters in his class.
Another athlete who made a splash at the Paralympics was Alhassan Kamara, a swimmer from Sierra Leone. Alhassan was born with a physical disability and took up swimming as a way to improve his strength and mobility. He competed in several events at the Paralympics, including the men's 50m freestyle S6, where he set a new African record.
The values of the Paralympic Movement are centred on the athletes and guide all those involved in Para sports. These values include courage, determination, inspiration, and equality. Para athletes demonstrate courage by pushing their bodies to the limit and determination by combining mental toughness, physical ability, and agility to achieve impressive sporting performances. As role models, they inspire others to be active and participate in sports, and through their involvement in sports, they celebrate diversity and challenge stereotypes and discrimination towards people with disabilities.
These athletes are just a couple of examples of the incredible talent and determination on display at the Paralympics.
Next time you tune to the #Paralympics in #Paris2024 remember:
- No obstacle is too great to overcome. Para athletes have faced challenges and barriers in their lives and in their sports, but they have never let these setbacks hold them back. They show us that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.
- Grit and determination are key to success. Para athletes have to work hard and push themselves to the limit in order to excel in their sports. They demonstrate that with grit and determination, we can achieve our goals no matter how difficult they may seem
- Overcoming adversity: Many Paralympians have faced significant challenges and setbacks in their lives, but they have never let these obstacles hold them back. They demonstrate the power of resilience and determination in overcoming adversity.
- The importance of hard work: To excel in their sports, Paralympians have to put in countless hours of hard work and practice. They show us that with dedication and perseverance, we can achieve our goals no matter how difficult they may seem.
- The value of inclusivity: The Paralympics promote inclusivity and diversity, demonstrating that people of all abilities can participate in sports and lead active, healthy lives. They remind us of the importance of embracing and celebrating differences.
Women Lead Sports in proud to support women succeed in Para Sports as leaders too. The Master program we deploy yearly also supports women in the Para Sports space to lead their organizations. We do this with a solid collaboration with APSO*.
*APSO is a collective association of 20 international federations and sports organizations created in 2017 with the mission of protecting and promoting the interests of its member sports and athletes within the Paralympic movement. The association was formed due to the rapid development of Paralympic sport, which in some cases is integrated within relevant international federations or sports organizations, and in others is governed entirely by the International Paralympic Committee.