Dr Bassam Qasrawi of Kuwait was bestowed by International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons with the Paralympic Order at the IPC’s 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner in Bonn, Germany.
The Paralympic Order is the highest award a non-athlete can achieve in the Paralympic Movement. The recipients of the award are the ones who have exemplified tremendous Paralympic principles through their actions, made remarkable strides in Paralympic sport or rendered outstanding services to the Paralympic cause.
In 1963, shortly after graduating from the Faculty of Medicine in Cairo University, Qasrawi became an esteemed member of the Medical Committee in Stoke Mandeville, when Sir Ludwig Guttmann was the chairman. It was here that his lifetime dedication to the progression of the Paralympic Movement began, as he became Chairman of the Medical & Classification Committee for Sport for the Disabled in Arabian Gulf Countries.
Driven to develop Para sport in his home country, Qasrawi then volunteered as the Medical and Classification Officer at the club he helped to establish, the Kuwait Disabled Sport Club and has proudly continued to volunteer at the club ever since.
His volunteering extended to his roles as a leading international classifier for Para fencing, athletics and powerlifting, and since 2012 has led the advancement of classification when was appointed as the World Para Powerlifting Sport Technical Committee’s Head of Classification.
When Qasrawi is not volunteering for the Paralympic Movement, he continued to write about it. As a renowned academic in the area related to persons with disabilities, he has successfully published over 30 medical papers, with the latest covering the development of the frontal lobe of the brain in which many international medical colleges were involved.
Qasrawi continues to deliver lectures worldwide at many prestigious institutions concerning classification in sport.
He has been crucial to the speed and scope of the unrivalled growth that Para powerlifting has seen in recent years, but moreover his lengthy history and decorated contribution to the success of Para sport makes Qasrawi an asset to the entire Paralympic Movement.
“When I reflect on my career, it is my greatest honour to be involved in Para sports and supporting athletes from around the world begin practising,” said Dr Bassam at the Gala. “It is truly special to receive the Paralympic Order and I am very touched.”