The president of the African Paralympic Committee (APC), Samson Deen, met with athletes and officials from 11 African countries who are camped at the University of Birmingham in a training program organized by the Commonwealth Games Federation.
Deen visited the camp at the invitation of the GAPS to deliver his support to the project and encourage participants from the continent to take key interest and accelerate their knowledge to impact other friends from their countries.
He used the opportunity to thank Ellen Barwise and Richard De Groen for the great effort they have made so far in making sure we overcame the challenges in making it possible to bring athletes and officials across the continent.
GAPS is a sport for development and peace programme that supports the development of inclusive sports pathways throughout the Commonwealth. Developed by the Commonwealth Games Federation and Griffith University, GAPS has expanded into a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship with other partners joining on this exciting but challenging journey.
The expansion of the programme is ongoing as we work towards bringing GAPS to Africa with Stellenbosch University, Americas and Caribbean with the University of Western Ontario, and Europe with the University of Birmingham. Oceania and Asia’s expansion will be led by Griffith University.
Who is it for?
GAPS is for emerging athletes and coaches from the Commonwealth. It aims to support the development of inclusive sports pathways, removing barriers to participation for people with a disability and for women and girls to become actively involved in sport. The development of coaches is fundamental, but so is tackling many barriers and constraints that prevent participation.
The programme involves multi-stakeholder partnerships and the building of long-term collaborations with universities, sports organisations, and government agencies. Through these partnerships, we can begin to shift mindsets and start to have a positive influence on communities to believe that it is a fundamental human right for women, girls, and people with a disability to be included in their sports pathways.
On behalf of the Commonwealth Games Secretariat and GAPS, Richard De Groan encouraged Ghana and the president of the APC to make the organisation of the ACCRA 2023 African Paralympic Games a reality and congratulated Deen for the success so far chalked in bringing the IPC and sports bodies into believing in Ghana and Africa.