By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The same as the government did for the Olympics, thousands of students from Rio state schools will have the opportunity to watch the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, which will be held between September 7th and 18th. Through a partnership with the Departments of Education and Sport, Recreation and Youth and the Rio 2016 organization, there will be 33,000 tickets distributed to students throughout the state during the Paralympic Games.
State Secretary of Sport, Recreation and Youth, Marco Antônio Cabral, explained, “To take these young people to the biggest event in Paralympic sport is a source of pride. The initiative is the result of social partnership through the Lei de Incentivo ao Esporte [Sports Incentive Law].”
The partnership provides transportation, snacks, a badge and T-shirts for young people who will visit stadiums and arenas at the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca and the Deodoro sports complex. One of the project’s priorities is to bring students with disabilities.
The action is part of the Transforma (Transform) program, whose goal is to allow students to experience the Olympic and Paralympic values, be introduced to new sports and get connected with the Games.
State secretary of Education, Wagner Victer, told government sources, “Schools have been working with Olympic content in some classes since last year, in topics such as team spirit, unity, respect and citizenship. […] For students who will go to the competitions it will be a great learning experience. The Paralympics awaken in students the debate on accessibility, inclusion and especially, overcoming.”
In Rio 2016, the Department of Education has already distributed more than 50,000 tickets for the modalities of badminton, field hockey, equestrian, shooting, slalom canoeing, boxing, table tennis and weightlifting, and 5,000 for women’s football (soccer), for the Brazil verses China match.
At a ceremony on Thursday (August 25th) in the capital Brasília, the Rio 2016 Paralympic torch was lit by the country’s interim president Michel Temer. The Paralympic Torch Relay will begin this Thursday (September 1st) and visit five cities around Brazil on its way to Rio de Janeiro.
The Rio 2016 Paralympics will feature 22 para-sports competitions including track and field, swimming, five-a-side and seven-a-side football, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby. The 2016 Paralympics kicks off on September 7th with the opening ceremony at Maracanã Stadium and will last until September 18th.