“Our aim is to make the Agitos Foundation the leading global organisation for developing sports activities for people with an impairment as a tool for changing lives and contributing to an inclusive society."
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Conference got underway on Friday (22 November) in Athens, Greece, with presentations on the Agitos Foundation and the new IPC Sports Strategic Plans, before candidates in Sunday’s IPC Governing Board elections took centre stage to present their manifestos.
Around 450 people from over 150 countries, made up of IPC members, observers and media, are in Athens for the 16th IPC General Assembly and Conference which continues through to Sunday (24 November).
Launched in September 2012, the Agitos Foundation is the IPC’s development arm and, during a 45-minute address, IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez and Agitos Foundation Director Georg Schlachtenberger gave a background to its formation, before highlighting the work it has undertaken in the last 14 months.
“Our aim is to make the Agitos Foundation the leading global organisation for developing sports activities for people with an impairment as a tool for changing lives and contributing to an inclusive society,” said Georg Schlachtenberger.
“In the last 14 months since our official launch at London 2012 we have achieved a lot, and our aim is to achieve even more over the coming years to develop the size, scope and reach of the Paralympic Movement.
"We cannot do this alone however but through strong partnerships around the world."
Schlachtenberger also gave an insight into the Agitos Foundation’s plans for 2014 to develop para-sport at all levels around the world. This includes:
• The launch of a pilot mentoring programme targeting Europe which aims to develop stronger female leadership within the Paralympic Movement.
• The return of the Grant Support Programme, which earlier this year saw close to EUR 630,000 distributed to 34 projects to support athlete development programmes
• The launch of the Organisational Capacity Programme which seeks to build capacity in emerging NPCs in six priority areas: Paralympic Games preparation, athlete development, branding, fundraising, organisational capability and strategic partnerships.
Following the conclusion of the Agitos Foundation presentation, Xavier Gonzalez then spoke about the IPC Strategic Plans for each of the IPC’s nine sports which were launched and published this week. The documents outline how the IPC plans to make each of its Paralympic sports stronger and self-sustainable for the future.
From mid-morning until early afternoon on Friday, all candidates standing in Sunday’s IPC Governing Board elections gave short presentations to the IPC membership. First up were the two British candidates for IPC President – Alan Dickson, who was nominated by - Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA), and current President Sir Philip Craven, the British Paralympic Association’s nominee.
The two Vice Presidential candidates – Ann Cody of NPC USA and Andrew Parsons of NPC Brazil – soon followed. The afternoon session saw 23 of the 25 candidates for the 10 IPC Member at Large positions each give a short five minute presentation. The other two candidates for Members at Large, Ann Cody and Andrew Parsons, did not present again having given their views earlier in the day.
For more information about the 2013 IPC General Assembly and Conference, please click here.