【CenterNews】I’mPOSSIBLE, an Official Educational Material by the International Paralympic Committee
Tokyo Paralympics Kicks Off With A Bang: I’mPOSSIBLE, an Official Educational Mate-rial press release by the International Paralympic Committee to Educate Children How Amazing the Paralympics Are
Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre (NFPSC), Agitos Foundation, and the Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC) developed educational material called I’mPOSSIBLE to help promote the Paralympics in the school education system to reach out to as many children as possible. Towards Tokyo 2020 the Japanese version of I’mPOSSIBLE will be delivered to every elementary school in Japan starting at the end of April. Attendants for the press release on February 21st included Philip Craven, the president of the IPC, who officially recognized the Japanese version of the teaching material, highlighting the importance of Paralympics education.
The Message Embodied by the Paralympians
I’mPOSSIBLE is an educational program created by the IPC and Japan is the first country in the world to disseminate this information directly into the school education system.
The title I’mPOSSIBLE came to life during the closing ceremony of the Paralympics in Sochi. The word “impossible” descended onto the stage but an athlete on a wheelchair climbed a 15 metre-long rope to become the apostrophe— to change the word into “i’mpossible”
What is embodied in I’mPOSSIBLE is Paralympians’ wish that they want to send out to the world.
Philip Craven, President of International Paralympic Committee
Sir Philip Craven, the president of IPC stated intently, “I consider Paralympic Education a ‘reverse-education.’ Children will learn about amazing and talented Paralympians and they will take home the knowledge to educate their own parents and grandparents. What is brilliant about this Paralympic movement is that the younger generation has become the teacher for adults, whereas usually the position is the other way around. I hope the next generation will learn that ‘anything is possible if you have determination’.” He added enthusiastically, “This program calls for excitement and will highlight the coming Paralympics. I am confident that it will help create an inclusive society.”
Mitsunori Torihara, president and a founding member of Japanese Para-Sports Association, stated the significance of the development of this educational material: “In Japan there was close to nothing when it came to educational tools for Paralympics. That was partly due to our lack of communicating information but this time we can offer educational material that is officially recognized by the IPC. Even for those who have limitations due to disabilities, Para sports allow creativity with rules and equipment to give one a chance to join. Paralympics will allow anybody to compete. ‘With creativity, it’s possible to find your way out of the impossible’— I have great expectations that spreading that idea will give everyone more opportunities to think about diversity and harmony.”
Although the so-called Olympic/Paralympic educational materials have existed before, the material that covered Paralympics per se were scarce. Furthermore, previous materials misinterpreted and included inaccurate information regarding Para-sports. The IPC and others intend to encourage the use of I’mPOSSIBLE towards Tokyo 2020.
Yashiro Mori, President Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Mitsunori Torihara, president and a founding member of Japanese Para-Sports Association
Amazing Things Will Begin Here in Tokyo
Yashiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, said “Tokyo 2020 is the first time to combine Olympics and Paralympics under one organizing committee and I cannot be happier. I think that people in Japan now understand that the one phrase “Tokyo 2020” includes both the Olympics and the Paralympics. It used to be that only the Olympics were mentioned in the Japanese educational guideline, which I was unaware of until now. It is remarkable to change that into both Olympics/Paralympics. Amazing things will begin here in Tokyo.”
A guest attendant Tamayo Marukawa, the minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, spoke: “Japanese society will be brought up to a new stage in the next three years leading up to the Tokyo 2020. Through education, the next generation will gain a barrier-free mind that sees beyond the physical realm—that will be the legacy of Tokyo 2020.” Mizuochi Toshiei, the Senior Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, celebrated the completion of the educational material by saying “This teaching material introduces the Paralympic sports equipment and history in a quiz format that is easy for children to understand. The format of the material reflects the Paralympic philosophy very well.”
Tamayo Marukawa, the minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games
Mizuochi Toshiei, the Senior Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Until now, education for Paralympics only happened at the hosting country. I'mPOSSIBLE was produced for children around the globe to create a bigger current for the Paralympic movement beyond the borders of the hosting country.
The Japanese version has been modified to suit the Japanese school’s education system for the senior years of elementary school. The lesson is designed to be completed in 45 minutes and the material comes with a guide for teachers (handbook, instruction manual, and lesson guide), handouts and worksheets for students, and two DVDs).
Yasushi Yamawaki, President of NFPSC
Yasushi Yamawaki (President of NFPSC) said, “The proposal for revision of education curriculum announced on February 14th encourages ‘deep and subjective education through dialogues.’ Based on students’ thoughts, feelings, realizations, and discoveries, they can learn the importance of being creative without giving up. I believe that learning about Para-sports through this material will cultivate a deeper understanding of disabled persons.”
Lastly, the project manager of NFPSC as well as a gold medalist of winter Nagano 1998 Paralympics, Miki Matheson said the following: “As a Paralympian I am honoured to be part of a development that will lead Tokyo 2020 into a huge success. I hope the educational material will give children an opportunity to become interested and to learn about, or even cheer for, the Paralympics. I also hope that I’mPOSSIBLE will encourage children to think about how they can contribute to society in general.”
The first four lessons will be distributed to all 20,000 elementary schools around Japan and next year the teaching material will continue to expand. It will also become available for download from the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games website.
Miki Matheson, Paralympian and the project manager of NFPSC
The completion of officially recognized educational material by the IPC drew much media attention
text&photos by Parasapo