The Gustav-Stresemann-Institut e.V. (GSI) in Bonn, Germany, was host to numerous meetings from International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Committees and Councils within the organization over the weekend from 5-6 September, following the successful 10/20 Anniversary Celebration of the IPC.
Many of the Committee and Council members had taken the unique opportunity to both be a part of the extraordinary anniversary event at the World Conference Centre on 4 September and remain for the weekend of meetings. Included in the schedule at the GSI Institute were the Athletes’ Council, Sports Council, Development Committee, Paralympic Games Committee, Athletes with High Support Needs Committee, Legal and Ethics Committee, Women in Sport Committee, National Paralympic Committee (NPC) Marketing Meeting, Regions’ Council and International Organizations of Sport for the Disabled (IOSD)'s Council.
Both days over the weekend were filled with members of each committee and council, taking the chance to voice their thoughts on the current situation of Paralympic Sport, with regard to their specific field, as well as looking into the future of the Paralympic Movement.
In the Legal and Ethics Committee meeting, which had all members present, Governing Board Executive Assistant Leen Coudenys said that in addition to reviewing and developing the IPC rules and regulations, the main purpose for the committee over the weekend was to go over the motions submitted to the IPC General Assembly. The Committee’s observations and recommendations with regards to the motions are to be considered by the Governing Board, which will in turn advise the General Assembly of their positions. Additionally, the Committee reviewed the nominations for the IPC Governing Board and the Americas Paralympic Committee Executive Committee elections.
Attendees in the Athletes’ Council meeting included Chairperson Bob Balk, Vice Chairperson Katarzyna Rogowiec, Hans Burn, Marketa Sidkova, Yu Chui Yee, Eskil Hagen, and David Smetanine. A full agenda, the council reviewed various reports, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athletes Commissions, the IPC Athletics and Swimming Summits, as well as held a joint meeting session with the Sports Council on athlete participation and athlete leadership. The Council also introduced the new Adecco Athletes’ Career Programme, which provides athletes a chance to step more easily from the world of sport into the professional world.
In the Development Committee meeting, it was determined that the Organizational Development Initiative (ODI) will be continued without a lead consultant, and more interviews with the telephone and Skype will be carried out. Furthermore, it was announced that between two and three more NPCs from Central America will enter ODI. The integration of sports development and the general approach within ODI will also be questioned in the future together with the Sports Council.
The Regions’ Council put forward recommendations on bylaws to the Governing Board, with each council member voicing their remarks the Rights and Obligations of Regions. In general, the council hoped to be more active and plans to increase communication in the future.
In the Women in Sport Committee meeting, the members discussed the statistics on women in leadership positions. Additionally, data on women in general from the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games was overviewed, as well as a survey on women in sports in Islamic dress. The Committee took the opportunity to also discuss the future, identifying priorities regarding the Women in Sport Leadership Summit. Some members also attended the joint session of the Sports Council and a joint working lunch with the Athletes with High Support Needs Committee.
Overall, the large gathering of councils and committees proved to be more than successful at the IPC Headquarters and the GSI Institute in Bonn.
For more information about the 10/20 Anniversary of the IPC, please visit www.paralympic.org -> IPC -> Events -> IPC Anniversary.