Frankfurt, Germany, staged the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) Conference and General Assembly on 14 November, with the presence of delegates from 22 IWRF member countries, IWRF Zone Presidents, Committee Chairs, the Board of Directors and members of the global wheelchair rugby family.
During the conference, members were updated on the progress of the IWRF strategic plan as well as on recent activities in the areas of competitions, classification, development, and sport technical. Presentations were made by host Organising Committees from upcoming events including the Sydney 2018 IWRF World Championships, the 2019 World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
During the General Assembly, IWRF members considered several motions from the members. A motion from Australia regarding appeals of match suspensions was defeated. Motions from Brazil and Colombia to establish a separate competition Zone for South America were withdrawn based on IWRF's commitments to provide further competition opportunities and qualification pathways for nations in South America. A motion from the USA to include athletes on classification panels was also withdrawn after IWRF confirmed they have established a programme to develop athlete classifiers.
The General Assembly also included elections for the Board of Directors. The incumbent IWRF Treasurer, Canada’s Cathy Cadieux, was re-elected for another term. The two open positions for Members at Large were filled by Great Britain’s incumbent director Richard Allcroft and USA’s new Board member Gary Pate.
At the conclusion of the meeting, IWRF President John Bishop thanked departing Board member Terry Vinyard for his years of service with IWRF, which included service on the Board from 1995-2000 and 2010-2016.
"This year is the first time that we have held our Conference and General Assembly (GA) independent of another event, and the response of our members has been great," said Bishop.
"More members are represented here than at any previous GA. I am thrilled by this level of participation and it gives me confidence in the strength and dedication of the global wheelchair rugby family."