The Lanzarote International Marathon due to be held on December 9th 2012 wanted to in some way to use the event to commemorate in a very special way the International Day of People with disabilities on Monday 3rd December.
The theme for the day this year is: Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all. No better place is this demonstrated than the CEIP Yàgabo Chaplaincy school in Arrecife. So, all the athletes from the wheelchair section went to visit the school on Monday 3rd December.
Some of the athletes taking part in wheelchair section of a href=”http://www.lanzaroteinternationalmarathon.com/live” target=”_blank”>Lanzarote International Marathon, Rafa Botello, Francesc Sola, Marieke Vervoort, Edwin Figueroa, Bret Crossley, Ross Low, Christian Agüero, Manuel Rodriguez, Oscar Rodriguez and Guido Alvarenga were given a huge noisey welcome by all the children. The athletes played with the children and had races with them and they all had a wonderful time.
The director of this school, Maria del Carmen Dolores, was “very happy” to receive the visit of Paralympic athletes. “We appreciate your presence on this special day and to have you so close to the children,” She stressed the importance of the responsibility of the Regular Educational Care Centre for Students with Disabilities. The CEO of Sands Beach Resort, Juan Carlos Albuixech , organizer of the Lanzarote International Marathon, said, “We are very committed to these social actions. We want our Marathon to be for one and for all.”
Lanzarote is fast becoming the world centre for adapted sports. Rafael Botello the Spanish paralympic athlete is the organizer of the Wheelchair section of the Lanzarote Marathon. Rafael has worked tirelessly to catapult Lanzarote to the centre of adapted sports in the world today. Rafeal says “London is the best and we have certainly lots to live up to”. There are 30 runners in the wheelchair adapted marathon and 11 of these were participants in London 2012 Paralympics.
Some of the internationally recognized athletes that will take part in the marathon are the Swiss Heinz Frei (best athlete in history with 120 victories in marathons), the French Julien Casoli (bronze in the 5,000 meters at the Paralympic Games in London and now winner of the Paris Marathon) and Claude Issorat (seven gold medals), the Spanish Rafa Botello (holds several national records and ninth in London) and Roger Puigbò (multiple world medalist) and Belgian star Marieke Vervoort (gold and silver in London 2012). The quality of these athletes, among others, makes the the Lanzarote International Marathon one of the biggest events in Europe up there with Paris or Berlin and even London.