The 2021 Paralympic Games begins this week and ahead of the main event, Facebook has announced a new range of tools to help users participate in the Games, and stay up to date with the latest results as well as all the action.

First off, on Facebook, users will soon be able to access a new Paralympics hub, which will provide up-to-the-minute insights on the latest results, news, and highlights. The hub will also include athlete and team profiles and interactive elements such as a Games quiz to help maximise engagement, as well as feature related posts from your connections in order to highlight key conversations of interest. Facebook’s Paralympics Games hub will be available from today and will be accessible by tapping on the #Paralympics hashtag.

Facebook is also hosting a range of exclusive Paralympics content, including live programming and highlights on the Paralympic Games Facebook Page, exclusive, behind-the-scenes clips via Instagram Reels and a new WebXR “visual and spatial audio experience which recreates phenomenal moments by the athletes”.

In the words of Facebook “In support of #WeThe15, and available via the Paralympic Games Facebook Page, the series highlights how Facebook helps communities in the US, UK, Brazil and New Zealand come together online – and the real-world impact it has offline.”

Over on Instagram, the @Paralympics Instagram account is now hosting a new AR effect which enables users to attempt to mirror the movements of Someity, the official Paralympics mascot, the Paralympics account has also shared a range of content that explains the rules and history behind various events. Also on Instagram the @Wethe15 Instagram account is also now hosting a new AR effect which is designed to help fans promote the “We the 15” movement. ‘We the 15’ aims to end discrimination against people with disabilities, who make up 15% of the global population.

The Paralympics is a wonderful and hugely popular in both facilitating inclusion and providing opportunity for all athletes to compete and showcase their abilities. It is great to see Facebook providing tools to encourage participation and engagement, while also giving Paralympic athletes a means to maintain connection with their supporter communities.