Bonn, Germany: As part of the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) commitment to be a more membership focussed and athlete centred organisation, the second edition of the 2019 IPC Athletes Forum will take place this week (22-24 November) in the USA.
Bringing together over 100 international delegates, the event at the US Olympic and Paralympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs will bring together athlete representatives from the IPC Athletes’ Council, IOC Athletes Commission, National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), Regional Organisations, International Federations, IPC Standing Committees and Paralympic Games Organising Committees.
Key topics to be discussed include: classification, anti-doping, athletes’ health and well-being, athletes' rights and responsibilities and the IPC Governance Review, with a look at specific aspects of the review that focus on greater athlete engagement within the Paralympic Movement. The Forum will also be an opportunity for athlete leaders to share information and best practices of athlete’s representation and continue to build a global network of Paralympic athlete representatives.
IPC President Andrew Parsons said: “If the IPC is to become a truly membership-focussed and athlete-centred organisation then steps need to be taken to provide a greater and more influential athlete voice throughout all levels of the Paralympic Movement.
“With the publication of the first IPC Athletes’ Council strategy earlier this year and the ongoing IPC Governance Review, there are many initiatives being implemented and discussed that will place athletes further at the heart of the Paralympic Movement.
“This Forum will provide a perfect opportunity for athlete representatives from around the world to come together, engage in meaningful dialogue and share ideas about multiple topics both on and off the field of play. I’m really looking forward to meet and hear from athletes to find out more about what they want from the Paralympic Movement and to learn first-hand about the biggest challenges and issues they are facing as athletes.”
“The first IPC Athletes' Forum in 2017 helped us solidify our strategy in order to help us serve the Paralympic athlete community more effectively. We listened closely and are now implementing the first phase of that strategy. Our agenda has been developed based on feedback from the 80 athlete representatives attending and is all about looking at where we are now - 30 years after the formation of the IPC – and at how the athlete community can help shape the future of the Paralympic movement,” said Chelsey Gotell, IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson.
The Forum will be facilitated by Chris Waddell, four-time Paralympian, Hall of Famer of USOPC of IPC, motivational speaker and author.
“From my first Games in 1992 to now, I have seen Paralympics evolve from obscurity to a place in the consciousness of people throughout the world. Our growth will continue to produce better athletes, greater entertainment and a more profound effect on the world as a whole. I'm excited to kick off the next 30 years of the International Paralympic Committee with the 2019 Athletes' Forum in Colorado Springs,” said Waddell.