IPC Governing Board elections Q&A: Part 4

Candidates for President and Vice President answer fourth and final question about their election bids. 26 Aug 2017

Official logo of the International Paralympic Committee.


Since Wednesday (23 August) the IPC has been publishing a series of questions and answers with candidates standing for President and Vice President in September’s IPC Governing Board elections in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

On 8 September four candidates are aiming to succeed Sir Philip Craven as IPC President - Patrick Jarvis, Andrew Parsons, John Petersson and Haidi Zhang - while two people are standing for the role of Vice President – Duane Kale and John Petersson.

Saturday marks the fourth and final day of questions to the candidates.

• Part 1: What is your vision for the future of the IPC and the Paralympic Movement? What does success look like for the IPC during the next four years?

• Part 2: Where do the IPC and Paralympic Movement’s strengths lie and how do you plan to maximise these strengths during your time in office?

• Part 3: What are the biggest changes you propose to make to the IPC and Paralympic Movement if elected?

Saturday’s question and unedited answers are below.

Question 4: What more can be done to grow and develop the Paralympic Movement in the coming years?

Patrick Jarvis

This is an example of where the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. There have been so many examples of great success within the NPCs, IFs, IOSDs and Regions. It is these successes that have provided us a strong foundation from which we can propel the Paralympic Movement forward. We are strong when sport is strong, and we gain strength by being open to continuous improvement.

I believe we need to learn from each other by sharing, continually provide appropriate support for all member nations, which requires disciplined planning and cooperation from all of us. A strong, supported and engaged sport community is critical to achieving a more unified, equitable and dynamic Paralympic community. We cannot engage in a top-down approach; rather, it must be a collaborative, shared approach that is open to evolution.

A key component of my leadership agenda will include sport-specific, focused development. I believe we need to further enhance and support the development of a strong sport development strategy, which includes a longer-term strategic view and plans for both the International Sport Federations and the IPC sports. This agenda also includes supporting and building up the NPCs, each of whom can be a force for good within their individual countries’ sporting communities, by supporting modernized efficient business practices and training and development opportunities.

Along with refining our long-term broadcast strategy to ensure global reach for our athletes’ remarkable stories that is essential to continuing to build our brand, we must also commit to reviewing, strengthening and modernizing our global and regional strategies for marketing and fundraising, to expand financial support for our mission.

It will only be through our collective efforts, in an environment of true collaboration where we engage the purposeful efforts of all of our community to facilitate athletic dreams of excellence that we will continue to strengthen Paralympic sport as a tool for transformational change. The world does need more Paralympic sport, and I believe more is possible.

Duane Kale

More sports and sporting opportunities for athletes at the Paralympic Games, with strong levels of participating athletes and underpinned by a classification system that athletes respect.

Increased commercial partnerships with organisations that hold similar intentions as IPC to shape a better world.

Governments’ endorsement on the benefits of para sport.

Success measured by the distribution of gold medal performances across the world

Andrew Parsons

I passionately believe that by implementing the vision and ideas that I have outlined above and in my campaign manifesto, the Paralympic Movement can go from strength to strength and become even more relevant to people right across the globe. The key is to embrace this change and work together to make our very special, unique Movement grow and prosper.

John Petersson

To support our Movement and the cause it supports, more can and needs to be done in multiple areas, including more grassroots development, generating more revenues, more transparency, and more collaboration with the IOC and IFs.

I want the IPC to support NPCs in championing youth development. Such support should not only be financial but also emphasise a support for structural development that includes leadership initiatives and education programmes.

With regard to more revenues, building on my experience as an entrepreneur and business man, I plan to create new commercial opportunities and sources of revenues for the IPC in order to better serve all IPC members and the Movement’s cause. I did this during my time as EPC President and I plan to do the same for the IPC.

With regards to transparency, in my positions in the Paralympic Movement, I have always taken an athlete-centred and solution-oriented approach. I believe in team work and in the democratic process. As president, I want to ensure more transparency in all aspects of decision-making. I want to listen to the members’ needs and act in an inclusive way.

Finally, it is important to establish a stronger working relationship between the IPC and IOC and the International Summer and Winter Federations in order to progress with the independent governance of parasports. This will create a platform for strong growth of all of our sports and a more focused and powerful IPC.

Haidi Zhang

I will develop excellent brands for the IPC, foster brilliant athlete stars, and build up these brands through celebrity effect. I will help NPCs to expand their revenue channels, diversify their sources of funding, so that more funds will be invested for athletes training, including daily exercising and competition.

I will strengthen cooperation with the IOC、IFs and other international sports organizations, and expand cross-cutting collaborations on sport, including media, enterprises, NGOs and scientific research institutions, etc.. I will strive to have our voices heard in the UN and participate in its mechanism. The Paralympic Movement will play its role in driving the progress of disability issues worldwide.

In addition to the written answers, each candidate has answered a series of questions on video posed by BBC Sport and Deutsche Welle.

To views the videos in full, please click on the links below:

Presidential candidates

Patrick Jarvis

Andrew Parsons

John Petersson

Haidi Zhang

Vice Presidential candidates

Duane Kale

John Petersson

The IPC Governing Board will consist of one President, one Vice President and 10 Members at Large and all will be elected by the IPC membership which consists of National Paralympic Committees, International Sport Federations, International Organisations of Sport for the Disabled (IOSDs) and Regional Organisations. In addition to the elected members, Chelsey Gotell, Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council and Xavier Gonzalez, IPC Chief Executive Officer, are ex-officio members of the Governing Board, although only Gotell has a vote.

Twenty-one candidates have been nominated for Member at Large positions.

On 6 September each candidate will have the opportunity to make a presentation on their candidature to the IPC membership attending the IPC General Assembly in Abu Dhabi.

Media accreditation for the IPC General Assembly can be applied for here.