Dear Paralympic friends,
It’s hard to believe that on Sunday 22 September 2019, the IPC will celebrate its 30th anniversary bearing in mind how big the organisation and Paralympic Movement is today.
Since the IPC was formed in Dusseldorf, Germany, so much progress has been made and this is testament to the tremendous efforts of many, many people. This includes the IPC membership, IPC staff, volunteers, classifiers, the IOC, commercial and media partners and, of course, my predecessors Dr. Bob Steadward and Sir Philip Craven.
To mark our 30th anniversary, we have launched a special short film featuring Great Britain’s six-time Paralympian Caz Walton OBE and France’s two-time Paralympian Jean-Baptistse Alaize. The film details how far the Paralympic Movement has come since 1989 and you can view it here:
Anniversaries are usually occasions to look back at achievements but as the IPC enters its fourth decade I would prefer to look forward and heed the words of Caz Walton in the film when she says: “When you look how far we have come in the last 30 years, just imagine where we can go next.”
“Just imagine where we can go next” will be theme of October’s IPC Conference and General Assembly in Bonn as we look to share best practice, discuss the ongoing IPC governance review and make some key policy decisions that will impact the future of the IPC and Paralympic Movement.
Since our formation, the IPC’s key priority areas have been growing the Paralympic Games and the development of the Movement. These will remain priority areas for the foreseeable future, however with the publication of our new strategic plan earlier this year, a third focus area has been identified.
All of our work has a profound transformational impact on society and it is vital that we make more of this in order to drive the human rights agenda and empower the world’s one billion persons with disabilities.
In the coming weeks, months, and years you will see the IPC undertaking more efforts to showcase how we make for a more inclusive world through Para sport by advancing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Together I am confident we can change the stigma around disability by engaging greater audiences and highlighting how we celebrate diversity and transform global attitudes towards disability.
The IPC may have achieved a lot in 30 years, far more than we expected, but I am hugely confident that the next 30 years will be even more special and transformational. I honestly believe we will change the world through Para sport.
I look forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary together in Bonn in October.