IPC's home city lights up for Paralympic Movement celebrations

Around 500 delegates are expected to attend events to mark 30th anniversary 21 Oct 2019
Photo of the IPC headquarters in Bonn
The IPC Headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany.

Around 500 delegates from around the Paralympic Movement will descend on the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) home city of Bonn, Germany, this week as celebrations to mark the organisation’s 30th anniversary reach their climax.

Events planned to celebrate three decades of the Paralympic Movement’s global governing body include a special Gala Dinner, an IPC Conference for members, 19th IPC General Assembly, 2019 Paralympic Sport and Media Awards and much more. 

Andrew Parsons, IPC President, speaking ahead of the occasion said: “We have a hugely exciting week planned as we celebrate two significant landmarks in the history of the IPC – our 30th anniversary since formation and our 20th year headquartered in Bonn.

“We are thrilled that so many IPC members and key stakeholders can join us in our home city for a series of events that will not only celebrate our achievement to date but also influence the future of the IPC and Paralympic Movement.”

The week will kick off on Tuesday (22 October) with the IPC Governing Board’s two days of meeting. The IPC will also host a Partners Workshop looking ahead to Tokyo 2020 that will bring together all seven Paralympic Worldwide Partners and three International Partners for the first time.

On Wednesday (23 October) around 200 experts will attend the IPC’s third annual Media and Marketing Summit.  The day-long event, powered by Nielsen, will be attended by representatives from the IPC, IOC, United Nations, National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), Agitos Foundation, international federations, commercial partners, broadcasters and social media channels.  

Guest speakers will include IPC President Andrew Parsons, Vice President of Marketing Development at IOC Television and Marketing Christian Voigt, Swiss sprinter Sofia Gonzalez, former London 2012 Marketing Director Greg Nugent and Nielsen’s Executive Vice President Global Head of Research Mike Wragg.

The Bonn International School will also host a special screening of a documentary featuring Henrieta Farkasova, Slovakia’s multi-Paralympic champion in alpine skiing, on Wednesday for pupils and invited guests.  

The documentary is part of the Who I Am series of documentaries produced by Japan’s multi award winning broadcaster WOWOW.  Following the screening, there will be questions and answers session featuring several leading German Para athletes. 

Thursday will see hundreds of guests - made up of IPC member organisations, Paralympic Games Organising Committee representatives and partners – attend the first day of the IPC Conference. 

The morning session will focus on Para sport, its impact on society and how the Paralympic Movement advances the Sustainable Development Goals.  Speakers will include Paris Deputy Mayor Nicolas Nordman, Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign Marina Ponti, Australia’s five-time Paralympian Kurt Fearnley, and Marco Nazzari, Managing Director, Nielsen Sport Europe.  

In the afternoon, several IPC member organisations will present examples of best practice, the IPC Athletes’ Council will discuss athlete representation models and there will be a presentation on activating the Paralympic brand.

On Thursday evening, a special Gala Dinner at the city’s Kameha Grand Hotel will mark the IPC’s 30th anniversary. The IPC was founded on 22 September 1989 in Dusseldorf, Germany, and the Gala Dinner will celebrate three decades of achievements and look forward to the future. 

In addition to interviews with key protagonists within the Paralympic Movement, a series of congratulatory video messages were will be shared from world leaders, celebrities and athletes.  The IPC President will also present the Paralympic Order, the highest award anyone can achieve within the Paralympic Movement, to six individuals in recognition of their outstanding service.

The second day of the IPC Conference on Friday (25 October) is dedicated to the IPC Governance Review which was launched in April 2018.  For the first time, IPC members will hear proposals from the IPC Governing Board on suggested changes to the IPC constitution, bylaws and policies ahead of an Extraordinary General Assembly in late 2020.

Friday evening will be highlighted by the 2019 Paralympic Sport and Media Awards supported by Allianz. Recognising the performances and achievements from the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, nine awards will be presented in total, including Best Female, Best Male, Best Debut and the BP Courage Award.  The Awards will be hosted by Deutsche Welle journalist Jessie Wingard, and Australian Paralympic champion and IPC Athletes' Council member Kurt Fearnley.

Over the weekend (26-27 October), the 19th IPC General Assembly will take place giving IPC members the opportunity to discuss and debate policies and procedures.  The Organising Committees for the Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022, Paris 2024 and LA 2028 will also provide the IPC membership with an update on preparations for future editions of the Paralympic Games.