"As Chair of the Committee on Culture of the European Parliament I have asked broadcasters and all media to guarantee the same prominence to the whole event starting on 5 August and ending on 18 September,”
Silvia Costa MEP, the Chair of the Committee on Culture, Education and Sport at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, has called upon European media outlets to give the same level of coverage to September’s Paralympic Games as they plan to for August’s Olympics.
On 7 July, the European Parliament adopted the Report on the Implementation of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first to be ratified by the EU as such, as well as by the 28 Member States.
In the report to Parliament, the Committee on Culture, Education and Sport reiterated that it must be guaranteed “equal and effective access of persons with disabilities” to key areas such as, amongst others, sport as provided by Article 30 of the Convention.
In light of this statement, Silvia Costa MEP believes it would carry a message of overcoming communication barriers if the European media would tell the two events – Olympics and Paralympics – as one single event celebrating sport and its values, recognising the equal dignity to all sports.
“As Chair of the Committee on Culture of the European Parliament I have asked broadcasters and all media to guarantee the same prominence to the whole event starting on 5 August and ending on 18 September,” said Costa MEP
“In this way, it will be possible to give concreteness to the integration of disabled sportsmen and sportswomen. With the commitment of European broadcasters and media, the message will come loud and clear to the sporting and non-sporting authorities that the athletes, both Olympic and Paralympic, are athletes and as such must be respected and celebrated.
“This is the powerful contribution that sport is able to, and can give, to civil co-existence, integration and peace,” she added.
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “I fully support Silvia Costa MEP’s call for more Paralympic broadcasting in Europe and hope that one day the Paralympic Games receive the same amount and level of coverage as the Olympic Games.
“I am pleased that thanks to the wonderful support of EBU and broadcasters such as Channel 4 in Great Britain, TV viewers in Europe will see more hours of coverage from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games than any previous Paralympics held outside of Europe. We are certainly heading in the right direction.”
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will take place between 7-18 September attracting 4,350 athletes from around 160 countries who will compete in 22 sports.