Saad Rafi claims a legacy is being felt from the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games ©Getty Images

Toronto 2015 chief executive Saad Rafi believes the Parapan American Games have helped the city’s population to better understand the needs of Para-sport athletes.

The Games saw a record 1,600 athletes from 28 countries compete in 15 sports.

A total of 10 world records were broken across the sports during the eight days of competition, as well as 70 Americas and 239 Games records.

Hosts Canada enjoyed their best Parapan Games to finish second with 168 medals, including 50 golds, but it was Brazil who led the way, picking up 257 medals, including 109 golds.

The Games ended with 18 of the 28 participating countries winning at least one medal.

Rafi believes the Parapan American Games has left a legacy in Toronto, with over a year having passed since the Closing Ceremony.

"There are many more citizens who better understand the importance of accessibility," he said.

"But, more importantly, they better understand why it is important to celebrate these athletes.

"To continue to provide opportunities, facilities and funding for the inclusion of many more people with differing abilities, to excel in society and sport, and how to provide those opportunities, whether in the work place, on the pitch, or in our communities."

The Toronto 2015 chief executive urged future hosts Lima to treat the Pan and Parapan American Games on an equal footing ©Getty Images
The Toronto 2015 chief executive urged future hosts Lima to treat the Pan and Parapan American Games on an equal footing ©Getty Images

Lima 2019 will hope to build on the success of Toronto, with the Peruvian capital gearing up to stage the sixth edition of the event.

The first Parapan American Games in Peru is viewed as key to helping to break down barriers in the country and help people with impairments enjoy better social inclusion.

Lima will host the Games from August 21 to September 1 in 2019, with the event coming fresh from the city holding the Pan American Games.

Rafi advised Lima 2019 to ensure planning for the Parapan American Games is on an equal level to ensure their success.

"Every Organising Committee is unique and has its own opportunities," he said.

"However, having a dedicated group within the Organising Committee is a benefit to focus the effort and to be a strong advocate in the community and with all partners.

"Reach out to all partners, as no effort is perfect, but it is critical to involve and to get the support of all partners to make these Games a success.

"Last, ensure that planning begins early; planning is integrated with the Pan Am Games; and, the unique, yet important, needs of the Parapan Am Games are on an equal basis."