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Sir Philip Craven, MBE, Awarded 2012 GSD Humanitarian Award

The Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD) is honored to announce today that Sir Philip Craven, MBE, president of the International Paralympic Committee and member of the International Olympic Committee, has been named the recipient of the 2012 GSD Humanitarian Award. As 2012’s honoree, Sir Philip will receive a $100,000 grant for use toward advancing his interests in youth sport development. GSD will present the award to Sir Philip at a ceremony held at London’s Globe Theatre on July 28, 2012.

The GSD Humanitarian Award recognizes and contributes to the exemplary work of those individuals and organizations that have contributed to the development of better individuals and communities through sport. The Award recognizes those who have:

- striven for or enabled the development of sport and the opportunities it provides young people;

- provided an inspirational example for youth through an exemplary sporting career both on and off the field of play; or

- introduced sport in a way that improves the lives and lifestyles of a community.

This accompanying $100,000 grant is provided to continue or expand the awardee’s development work or to create a program jointly designed by the awardee and GSD.

“I am particularly gratified with this award because providing more opportunities for our youngsters to enjoy the benefits of sport is truly one of my greatest passions,” said Sir Philip.

“We are seeing promising results from the youth development programs the IPC has launched in cooperation with GSD and others, and I continue to be excited about increasing our ability to reach out to and strengthen the grassroots of all Paralympic sports.”

“Sir Philip is a true champion of sport in all senses of the word,” said Dr. Steven Ungerleider, a founding board member of GSD.

“Winning medals is one thing, but providing opportunities for others to enhance themselves moves society forward. We need more humanitarians like Sir Philip.”

The award recognizes Sir Philip’s contributions to sport at all levels. He found quick success as an athlete, competing in Wheelchair Basketball and Swimming in the 1972 Paralympic Games and going onto become a five-time Paralympian in Wheelchair Basketball (1972-1988).

While still competing on the basketball court, he began administering the sport off it. Sir Philip was elected to three, non-consecutive terms as chairman of the Great Britain Basketball Federation (1977-1980, 1984-1987, 1989-1994); became the first athlete to lead the sport worldwide, when he was elected chairman of the Wheelchair Basketball Section of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation in 1988; founded the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation in 1989; and served as its first president from 1989-2002. During his career as a Wheelchair Basketball administrator, Sir Philip helped spearhead the evolution of the sport as well as its governing body – making the sport more dynamic and attractive to youth and dramatically increasing its growth and universality.

Since December 2001, Sir Philip has served as the second president of the International Paralympic Committee, where he not only has presided over the most successful editions of the Paralympic Games but also has helped drive the IPC’s focus on sport development.

In 2003, Sir Philip was elected a member of the International Olympic Committee. In this position he has worked to strengthen the cooperation between the IOC and IPC and has endeavored to raise the interests of Paralympic sport and its athletes the highest international levels.

“Sir Philip’s example on the court and work off it has created countless opportunities for youth to experience the thrills and lessons sport provides,” said David Ulich, a founding board member of GSD. “Recognizing this type of contribution to society is what the GSD Humanitarian Award is all about.”

The Humanitarian Award is one of several core programs GSD runs. It also conducts mentorship programs, through which dozens of deserving children travel to the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games to gain knowledge through cultural exchange and inspiration from athletes; furthers sport values-based education; and funds youth sport development programs in the U.S. and across the world through partnerships with sport governing bodies.