Volunteer experience in the International Paralympic Committee

Kaho Shinohara

Organization: International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

Implementation period: September in the first year (2 weeks)

I worked as a volunteer in the social media team during Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Main responsibilities of the Media office of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) at the Olympic Park were creating YouTube videos and uploading them on the social media of IPC. It may not be fancy but it is an important task in promoting Paralympic Movement to outside of the stadium.

IPC does not have many staff (about 70 people) and they rely on volunteers. Thus, volunteers were treated as staff and we were given supports in food, watching games and transportation. There were hardly Asian or Japanese people among the staff or volunteers in IPC.

Cultural difference was sometimes a challenge, but people always helped me as I worked in a genuine manner. Since I was working as a part of an international organization in a big event, I did not observe any grassroots initiatives. However, I could witness how Para-sports inspire individuals when I talked with other volunteers and fans of the Paralympic Games, and I became aware of being a part of the success of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.



In spring of the 1st year, I found the announcement of volunteer positions for the Paralympic Games on the IPC website by chance. Since the event was scheduled during the summer break, I applied for the post to gain experience and luckily received a reply one month later. Through this experience, I could also meet and discuss with people from the Japan Paralympic Committee and Tokyo Ogranising Committee of Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Since there are not many experts of International Development and Peace through Sport in the world including Japan, and also Tokyo will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, I believe that more people like us who have experience and knowledge of this topic will be needed.