The Paralympic Games - A Platform to Showcase Human Achievement and Change Public Attitudes Towards Disability
The Paralympic Games have grown from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948 to become one of the world's largest sporting events. The London 2012 Paralympics attracted a cumulated worldwide audience of 3.4 billion people – a billion more than in Beijing 2008, and more than any other Games previously.
As well as being a fantastic showcase for human achievement - focused on ability and not disability - these Games have become a transformation tool for changing attitudes towards people with disabilities in general.
Chairman of the London organising committee, Sebastian Coe, said about the 2012 Summer Paralympics and 2012 Summer Olympics in London: "We want to change public attitudes towards disability, celebrate the excellence of Paralympic sport and to enshrine from the very outset that the two Games are an integrated whole".
After Rio 2016 All Eyes Will be on Tokyo 2020
Fast-forward to 2016, and on the horizon for Tokyo are the 16th Paralympics, featuring 22 sports - to be held from 25 August to 6 September 2020.
With all eyes on the first city in Asia to host the Paralympics for the second time, can 2020 prove to be a game changer for advancing the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) social agenda in Japan? Can the Games really change attitudes across the board towards people with disabilities in the workplace and across society as a whole? Only time will tell . . .
For now, via a BCCJ seminar on the morning of March 25, we aim to raise awareness of Paralympic sports in Japan and share the challenges, inspiration and energy of Paralympic athletes from the world's third largest economy.
This event, run in association with the British Council and GSK Japan, strives to educate attendees on ways to support the Paralympics and People with Disabilities in the workplace, on the road to 2020 - and beyond.
Please join us for what we believe will be a very special and thought-provoking event.
Opening comments from:
Matt Burney, Director, British Council in Japan
Yasushi Yamawaki, Governing Board Member, International Paralympic Committee, Director of Japanese Para-Sports Association, President of Japanese Paralympic Committee, Director, Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre
Suzanne Price, Representative Director of Price Global
- Rina Akiyama - Swimmer, competed in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Paralymic Games, Gold medal winner at London 2012 Paralympics
- Hisano Tezuka - Snowboarder competing internationally and at Deaflympics in Italy, USA, Slovenia and Russia, including Deaflympics in 2015 and 2011
- Daisuke Uehara - Ice sledge hockey international team player, won Silver medal at Vancouver Paralympics
Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre
British Council, in Japan: Cultural Olympiad - Sharing the Legacy from London to Tokyo
BCCJ, British Council and GSK