The Agitos Foundation workshops in accordance with Rio 2016 have begun in Sao Paulo today ©Agitos Foundation

Rio 2016 and the Brazilian Paralympic Committee today begun a series of workshops in São Paulo in partnership with the Agitos Foundation, aimed at improving coaching, classification and sport management.

It is hoped they will help to develop the skills of a range of different people in the Americas ahead of Rio de Janeiro staging the Paralympic Games next year.

The "Road to Rio 2016: Agitos Foundation Sessions" will start with a workshop targeted at sports coaches, as well as visual impairment classifiers.

The session, set to be attended by 30 people from 21 countries, runs from today and is due to finish next Tuesday (April 21), with further four-day workshops scheduled in June for coaches, classifiers and athletes, and in November of this year solely for coaches.

They will then culminate in a final workshop in January 2016, and Carlos Nuzman, President of Rio 2016, believes they will prove to be hugely beneficial for the Games themselves.

“The Paralympic athletes are idols and their achievements are a source of inspiration to us all,” he said.

“We are confident that initiatives such as these workshops are fundamental to the development of sport and our goal to make a memorable Paralympic Games in 2016, which will leave many a positive legacy for the city and for the sport."

Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman feels the workshops will be hugely beneficial in the lead-up to the Paralympic Games
Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman feels the workshops will be hugely beneficial in the lead-up to the Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

The session in São Paulo will be run by experts in the field of visual impairments from Israel and Iran, as well as sport management facilitators from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Academy.

“We are very excited to be working with our partners once again to develop para-sport in the Americas, and I am grateful to Rio 2016 and the Brazilian Paralympic Committee for their work with us during a historic phase in the region's history,” Agitos Foundation director Georg Schlachtenberger said.

"In just over 500 days, over 4,350 athletes from more than 170 countries around the world will come to compete at the first Paralympic Games in South America, which is a huge step towards expanding the reach of Para-sport.

"The world will be looking at the Americas and this brings the opportunity for consolidating efforts and developing an active, prepared and motivated team to support the legacy of Rio 2016."

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