“The session highlighted the importance of creating two-way dialogue with the athlete community, need for increased education, transparency and consistency, and a discussion about the required professionalisation of classification. It is a priority for the IPC Athletes’ Council to see this established and reflected in our long-term strategy."
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council held its latest meeting in Bonn, Germany, from 9-11 November, with the highlight a Facebook Live Q&A for the athlete community focussing on the future of classification.
As part of the IPC Athletes’ Council ambition to tackle key issues affecting athletes within the Paralympic Movement, the group arranged for the IPC’s Medical and Scientific Director Peter Van de Vliet to answer a series of questions from athletes during an hour-long Facebook Live.
Questions from all around the world were posed during the session which aimed to give athletes a greater understanding of classification and create more transparency around the subject.
Away from the Facebook Live, the Council discussed the implementation of a long-term strategy which will help the athlete community thrive both on and off the field of play. The strategy will be launched in early 2019, and includes programmes, resources and various opportunities to be implemented.
Anti-doping and the future of clean sport was also a key topic covered in the meeting.
Plans for the 2019 IPC Athletes’ Forum, as well as the creation of an Athletes’ Hub, an online platform where athletes will be able to access relevant athlete focused information and resources, were also discussed.
The Council also suggested ideas and changes for consideration in the IPC’s governance review, as the organisation looks to become more athlete-centred.
Chelsey Gotell, Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council, said: “We had a very productive two and a half days discussing some extremely important topics that will serve us well in continuing to build a strong platform for creating an athlete-centered Movement.
“Understanding the current state and being part of the discussion regarding the future of classification is key to many athletes. For that reason, we hosted the first live Facebook Q&A session.
“The session highlighted the importance of creating two-way dialogue with the athlete community, need for increased education, transparency and consistency, and a discussion about the required professionalisation of classification. It is a priority for the IPC Athletes’ Council to see this established and reflected in our long-term strategy.
“Following the session, we discussed the important role of the Athletes´ Council in continuing to push for these items and for information sharing across all Paralympic Movement stakeholders.
“We also talked about the need for National Paralympic Committees and International Federations to include athletes in their classifier open house sessions and dialogue regarding the future of classification.”