APC President attends Iran’s 15th Paralympic Day celebration

 By NPC Iran and APC

The 15th National Paralympic Day of Iran was celebrated on 16 October 2022 in all cities across the country with participation over 60,000 participants, representing 31 provinces, while Asian Paralympic Committee President Majid Rashed graced the annual festival that is set to boost Para sports culture in the country.

The National Paralympic Day, which is inscribed into Iranian calendar, is celebrated dedicating the day to children and people with disabilities. The key values of the Paralympic Movement are the principles that the I. R. Iran National Paralympic Day strives to promote.

Mr. Rashed attended the celebration at the Azadi Indoor Stadium (Azadi 12,000 Capacity Hall) watching thousands of people with impairments gathered to play and celebrate Para sports while a large scale of participants celebrated the event across the country.

Together with the APC Chief Executive Officer Tarek Souei, Mr. Rashed took the opportunity to make his first address in this great event.  “To have such a longstanding event, celebrating the achievements of people with impairment, is a testament to the fine work being done by Iran’s National Paralympic Committee. These days have been held up as a beacon of best practice right across our region, with many NPCs using them as inspiration to hold similar events,” the APC President said in his speech.

“I’m really delighted that, thanks to Iran’s success in controlling the Covid pandemic, the Paralympic days can take place across the country once more. The 2019 day reached 60,000 people across 31 cities and I’m sure that this edition in 2022 will be equally as successful.”

In a festival that featured live-streamed on the Iranian state television as well as various entertainment-driven activities, including performances by popular TV presenters, local musicians, artists and appearances by some famous athletes, APC president also voiced the importance of such an event as a spotlight on the Paralympic Movement, which changes attitudes towards people with disabilities.

Besides, demonstration medals, sport ball and gifts were offered to audience as a part of the ceremony and Ms. Atena Mohammadi (AYPG 2021 Para Athletics Gold Medalist) delivered her speech as Athletes’ representative on a day that different sports were played during the ceremonies in Tehran.

As one of the most important milestones of NPC Iran, the first edition of National Paralympic Day took place in 2003, around 3,000 people attended this ceremony and in the 12th edition in 2019, a record-breaking number of over 60,000 participants celebrated this event across all 31 provinces in Iran (a year before outbreak of Covid). In addition to the National Paralympic Day, a range of programmes and activities are planned to be launched each year during Paralympic week, and each day is allocated to one area. 

Mr. Rashed also highlighted the impressive results that Iranian athletes achieved on the field of play in both summer and winter sports, the Asian Para Games in Indonesia 2018, and Asian Youth Para Games in Bahrain 2021, where the young stars of Iran topped the medal table winning 122 medals.

“I’d like to thank everyone at the National Paralympic Committee of Iran for all their hard work in putting on this event,” the APC President concluded. “I’m sure the day will continue to be an inspiration for other countries in Asia to follow suit.”

The APC President and CEO on Monday met with Iran sports minister Seyed Hamid Sajjadi Hazaveh before visiting the Olympic and Paralympic museum and academies.

The APC delegates also held a meeting with I.R. Iran NPC officials and awarded the APC Golden Pin to the NPC’s long-standing president Mahmoud Khosravi Vafa and discussed about the Paralympic scenario in Iran.

The visiting delegates will conclude their Iran tour with a visit to the I.R. Iran Sports Federation of the Disabled training camp to witness athletes’ training facilities at the centre.

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