Tokyo hosts Paralympic archery seminar under Agitos development initiative

A para archery coaching seminar was held on 20-22 November 2019 at the University of Tsukuba, one of the most prestigious in Japan, as part of the Agitos Foundation’s Road to Tokyo initiative.

Open to coaches worldwide but specifically targeted at those in Asia, it was part of a workshops kick-off that gathered 42 judo, para archery, para powerlifting and para taekwondo coaches from 16 Asian countries.

Eleven coaches from eight countries - Singapore, Hong Kong, Iran Iraq, Kazakstan, Mongolia, Bhutan - attended the archery sessions.

The purpose was to help coaches develop para archery in their countries by giving them the skills required to teach archery to impaired individuals. The participants simulated impairments and created equipment to compensate for reduced movement when shooting a bow and arrow.

Para archery experts MJ Rogers and Vincent Hybois led the course.

“It’s always a challenge to present para archery and the goal was to convince the participating coaches that archery is a wonderful activity because it’s accessible to all, regardless of a person’s impairment,” said Hybois.

Rogers added that the ability to understand adaptations and the thinking outside the box required to teach para archery could benefit any coach: “Athletes who need modification to their style, technique or equipment create this learning environment that broadens a coach’s thinking in many ways.”

World Archery and the World Archery Excellence Centre have partnered with the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee to develop expertise in the field of para sport in the country that will host the next Paralympic Games.

Chair of the Agitos Foundation executive committee (and former World Archery para committee chair) Rita van Driel said: “Knowledge-sharing is one of the most important tools in strengthening the Paralympic Movement, providing valuable lessons from successful experiences and raising awareness of our values. I am happy to see that World Archery is actively participating in this important programme in Asia.”

The Road to the Games programme was created ahead of Rio 2016 and left an important sporting legacy in Brazil. Its success has led to the initiative being continued for the next Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

Further events in Asia are scheduled for February 2020, with a focus on para swimming, para table tennis, para badminton and sports administration.