The Grenada Paralympics Committee (GPC) has joined the global paralympic movement, to raise awareness about people with impairments and to promote inclusion through Parasport. The GPC launched the international education programme, “I’mPOSSIBLE – Moving Forward Together Grenada Project,” on 21 January 2019 at the Public Workers Union, (PWU), building.
I’mPOSSIBLE is an education and awareness programme developed by the International Paralympic Committee, (IPC). Its main aim is to spread Paralympic values and challenge and change the perceptions young people may have of the disabled.
Jerry Alexis, Director of Curriculum for Physical Education and Sport, in the Ministry of Education, launched the programme in the presence of Physical Education, (PE), teachers and coaches representing schools in each parish, along with the President, Herman “Mello” Peters and representatives from the Grenada National Council for the Disabled (GNCD) and schools for special education.
President of the GPC, Ray Roberts, in welcoming the facilitators, participants and invited guest, expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Education for providing the coaches and teachers and to the Agitos Foundation for their support of the programme.
The 2-day workshop to provide special training for PE teachers and coaches is the first in a series of activities in the 6-month awareness project. The teachers and coaches are now expected to return to the classroom and community armed with the I’mPOSSIBLE toolkit to work with at least 30 students each, providing them with specific skills and knowledge.
The programme raises the profile of Para sports and inspires young people to champion equality and inclusion. The I’mPOSSIBLE Grenada Project is made possible through funding from the Agitos Foundation. Technical support in facilitating the workshop came from Playable Caribbean and the Ministry of Education provided the coaches and teachers.
Dr Jane Noel, of the Grenada Olympic Committee, at the launch congratulated the Grenada Paralympic Committee for being able to organise such a programme, remembering the hard work it took to get to this stage.
During the 2-day awareness programme workshop, Playable Caribbean Director, Francine Look-Hong, engaged the participants in interactive and lively discussions, on the Paralympic Movement, Agitos Foundation, inclusion and encouraging persons with disabilities to confidently participate in sports. Look-Hong has been teaching and assisting groups and associations in para athletes for over a decade and brings a wealth of experience to the programme.
An overview of the teachers’ I’mPOSSIBLE handbook was done and questions answered. Each participant received a copy of the teacher handbook. This was supported by using many indoor adaptive games, giving participants an opportunity to see the ease with which to engage the children and adults, in limited space, with limited equipment.
Seated volleyball, one on one blind football with vocal coaches, pick-up game of goalball, using the space and football and game callers as well were among the many practical games demonstrated during the workshop. At the end of those demonstrations, one of the participants was called upon to create a quick game involving inclusion. Blindfolded musical chairs was played. Using the Roy St John Playing Field, some participants were blindfolded from the meeting room and were then led by their partner, down the stairs, across the road and onto the field.
The 2 days allowed participants to demonstrate their skills as teachers/coaches, as well as to experience the feeling of being a person with a disability participating in a sport for the first time.
This reverse role play allowed all to have a deeper appreciation for what they will be taking to schools and to be mindful of how they convey the message of the I’m POSSIBLE programme.
GPC President Ray Roberts thanked all who participated and assisted in ensuring the workshop was a success. Alby Andrew on behalf of the participants thanked the organisers, facilitators and fellow participants for a successful 2-day workshop
Grenada Paralympic Committee