IAKS Congress Discusses Accessibility

21st International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) Congress officially opened in Cologne, Germany 29 Oct 2009 By IPC

Yesterday, the 21st International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) Congress was officially opened in Cologne, Germany. Amongst congress participants from all over the world, Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Dr. Ingo Wolff, Minister of Home Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia and Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, President of IAKS attended the Opening.

One of the topics being presented and discussed at the Conference was ‘Accessible Sports and Leisure Facilities’. Amongst others, Mark Todd, London 2012 Organizing Committee Accessibility Manager, Apostolos Rigas, IPC Head of Paralympic Strategic Projects and Sylvana Mestre, Chairperson of the IPC Alpine Skiing Sport Technical Committee discussed and reviewed best practices in the area of accessibility, especially in regards to sport leisure facilities suitable for all in front of around 100 session participants. The congress in Cologne will continue with expert talks, presenting innovations, trends and best practices from the world of sports facility development. Today, a group of experts of European organizations will discuss accessibility standards and its harmonization.

The Congress is also being held in conjunction with the ‘Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities’ international trade fair (FSB), which runs from 28-30 October and will bring together over 15,000 specialists in the design, construction and management of sport and leisure facilities from all over the world.

Furthermore, as part of the 2009 IOC/IAKS Award for Exemplary Sports & Leisure Facilities organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and IAKS, the IPC and IAKS presented again the IPC/IAKS Distinction for Accessibility. The ten winners are outstanding examples of the way in which sporting facilities can provide a positive atmosphere and experience for all users.

The winners of the IPC/IAKS Distinction 2009:

Beijing Olympic Stadium (CHN)

Architect: Herzog de Meuron + ArupSport + China Architecture Design & Research Group (CAG)

Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Centre (CHN)

Architect: BVN Architecture with China Construction Design International

Kantrida Swimming Centre, Rijeka (CRO)

Architect: Studio Zoppini Associati

Kastrup Sea Bath (DEN)

Architect: White Arkitekter A/S

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Dorset (GBR)

Architect: FaulknerBrowns Architects

La Molina Ski Resort (ESP)

Architect: Ramon Ganyet, Pere Solá, Mariona Masdemont

Rehazenter Luxembourg (LUX)

Architect: m3 architectes s.a. – Dell, Linster, Lucas

Moscow Region Speed Skating Center Kolomna, Colomna (RUS)

Architect: Alexander Goder

National Tennis Centre, London (GBR)

Architect: Hopkins Architects

Universitäts- und Landessportzentrum Salzburg/Rif, Hallein (AUT)

Architect: Architekt Gernot Benko ZT

The IPC/IAKS Distinction is aimed at increasing the accessibility of all sports facilities and architectural projects in order to give opportunities to persons with a disability to practise and view sport freely and without barriers. For the IPC/IAKS Distinction, a record number of 54 entries have been received this year.

For more information about the winners, please see the official IAKS website at www.iaks.info.