Benin’s National Paralympic Committee (NPC) is partnering with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to promote para sports in the country beginning in November. The program will be a talent identification program funded by the Grant Support Programme (GSP).
The GSP funds awareness campaigns, education, training, research and equipment in the Paralympic Sports. This project is the third time that Benin has been awarded money from the GSP to promote para sports, and progress seems to be being made.
The goal of this program is to identify talent so that Benin can send a delegation to Tokyo in four year’s time. The earlier projects have established regional structures, and this program will now seek to utilize those regional systems to create a national squad of talent.
This time the focus of the project is athletics and the Benin NPC General Secretary spoke about what they will be doing with the grant. “We will provide sports equipment, either weights or javelins, to the participants. They will then receive special monitoring over the coming years,” said Seriki.
The hope is that this program will unearth talent that can form part of a Benin team for the Paralympic Games in 2020. That would be a boost for the NPC, who has seen their team shrink since debuting in Sydney in 2000, with just one athlete in London four years ago.
There is more to this program than just looking to Tokyo 2020, which is their long term goal, it’s also about a better world. Benin’s NPC is using this program as an opportunity to promote the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Impairment throughout the country.