13: IPC launches new vision

“To enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.” 10 Sep 2014
A picture of a woman celebrating her victory

Germany's Andrea Rothfuss had a storming start to her 2013-14 season, in December emerging as the leader in the giant slalom and super-G standing events for the IPC Alpine Skiing Europa Cup rankings on her way to Sochi 2014.

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“To enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.”

It may only consist of 14 words, but the IPC’s vision which was launched in 2003 tells you everything you need to know about the Paralympic Movement’s global governing body’s day-to-day activities and purpose.

Up until 2003, the IPC did not have a vision and the starting point for creating one was the 2001 IPC Strategic Planning Conference staged in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The conference, which was attended by 250 delegates from 77 countries and chaired by IPC Vice President York Chow, aimed to define the future direction of the IPC and the Paralympic Movement. It covered various areas such as governance, marketing, television, classification, sports programme, ethics, principles and anti-doping.

Gudrun Doll-Tepper, President of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, chaired a working group that made a number of key recommendations which were included in Chow’s conclusions from the event.

One of the key recommendations was for the IPC to draft a strategic plan to be endorsed by the IPC General Assembly and for a greater definition of roles and responsibilities.

It was important for the IPC to develop a clear vision with values that the whole IPC membership could buy-in to and support.

Consultation internally and with the IPC membership started straight away and the need for a vision outlining the strategic direction, with para-athletes at its heart, was a top priority, reinforced by the election of Sir Philip Craven as President in 2001.

During his election campaign, Sir Philip had stressed the need for a strong vision and for the implementation of a strategic plan.

Both were approved at the 2003 IPC General Assembly which was held in Torino, Italy. As the meeting was set to approve much of the work that had materialised from the 2001 Strategic Planning Conference it was called Engineering the Future.

Since it was launched, the IPC has added the values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality, and developed an aspiration to further define the role and responsibilities of the organisation.

Today, the vision is still as pertinent as it was when it was launched in 2003 with each word having particular significance.

Enable - Creating conditions for athlete empowerment

Paralympic Athletes - The primary focus, from initiation to elite level

Achieve - Sporting excellence is the goal of a sport centred organisation

Inspire & Excite - Touch the heart of all people for a more equitable society