The Iran National Paralympic Committee (NPC) celebrated their National Paralympic Day on 12 October, promoting sport for people with an impairment, at the Azadi Sport Complex in Tehran
The event was attended by high-ranked officials, including Wilfried Lemke, United Nations Secretary General Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace. Lemke was joined by Tarek Souei, the Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Paralympic Committee. Additionally, among the approximate 8,000 participants, there was also a strong showing of children both with and without impairments at the event.
Lemke addressed the attendees, emphasising equality for all in sport and gave a special thanks to parents and their care for children with impairments. He concluded his speech by announcing support for athletes, especially women, with impairments as they act as role models and encourage others to get involved in sports.
There was also a video message from Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President, played to show the commitment of the IPC in supporting the event. Thanks to Iran Broadcasting Organisation, the event was broadcast live across the country
It was the eighth edition of Iran’s National Paralympic Day, which was celebrated in different parts of the country, with an estimated 35,000 total participants, including school children with their parents and teachers. As part of the celebration, the audience was invited to participate in exercises and para-sports at the Paralympic Day.
After Iran’s National Paralympic Day ceremony, Souei met with the Iran NPC executive board members to get more familiar with the NPC profile and activities.
Amir Mandegarfard, Iran NPC Secretary General, briefed Souei with a report about the growth of the Paralympic Movement in Iran over the last three decades, which included the National Paralympic Day initiative.
Fatemeh Rakhshani, Iran NPC Vice President delivered her presentation about women in sport in Iran. Behrouz Barjasteh, NPC Technical Director, also explained the trend of para-sport expansion in the country and the qualification process for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Afterward, Souei expressed his excitement to join the National Paralympic Day celebrations, referring to the development of para-sport in Asia. He emphasised the co-operation with Iran to promote sports in the region.
Souei met with Shahrokh Shahnazi, Iran National Olympic Committee Secretary General, who offered the co-operation of the Olympic Council of Asia and Asian Paralympic Committee to establish a commission dedicated to para-sports. Souei also indicated that the Iran NPC was a unique model for other Asian countries and called for the exchange of experiences and knowledge on how to develop para-sport in Asia.