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IPC Academy Trains Sochi 2014 Volunteers
12 April 2012

The workshop is designed to ensure the Sochi 2014 volunteers make both Paralympic athletes and visitors feel truly welcome when attending the Games.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Academy today concluded its volunteer training in Sochi, the host of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. The IPC Academy, the educational arm of the IPC, has worked with the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee to develop a module to educate Sochi 2014 volunteers on the best practices in communicating, interacting and supporting people with a disability, essentially given the necessity to help change attitudes in Russia to achieve the goal of fully integrating people with a disability into society.

The workshop is designed to ensure the Sochi 2014 volunteers make both Paralympic athletes and visitors feel truly welcome when attending the Games. After a first workshop was held in November 2011 in Moscow, this second edition was hosted at the Sochi volunteer centre with 75 participants, who will be training the Sochi 2014 volunteers at the 26 dedicated volunteer centres across Russia.

The Academy programme provided participants with relevant knowledge prior to the workshop and maximized the time with participants to ensure they are capable to deliver an exciting and participative programme. The participants, now known as Educators, are tasked with delivering induction workshops in each of their respective volunteer centres as they increase their recruitment and training activities throughout 2012 and 2013.

Participants had the opportunity to independently test different methods of the appropriate interaction with people with a disability based on the World Academy of Sport proven Train the Trainer learning methodology.

The programme was delivered by Apostolos Rigas from the IPC, Chris Solly Director of IPC Academy and World Academy of Sport, Michael Cary from IPC Academy and World Academy of Sport and Mark Todd, accessibility expert of the IPC. The programme has been structured and developed with the advice from International Rugby Board (IRB) Trainers Steve Griffiths and Mark Harrington who lead the initial programme last November as Visiting Fellows.

IPC Academy Director Chris Solly said: "This programme helps deliver tailored training for Volunteers in Sochi for 2014 and at the same time provides a legacy in Russia of educators capable of providing training for future generations long after the 2014 Games."

"We thank the Organising Committee, the local stakeholders from Sochi and the Krasnodar Region, and in particular the University Volunteer Training Centre's from across Russia who work directly with the volunteers. All of these partners have been central in making this unique programme possible. We additionally provide special thanks to the great support of the IRB for the expertise and assistance in the development of the programme."

For more information on the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, visit www.sochi2014.com