The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has opened the nomination process for the IPC Athletes’ Council, ahead of an election that will take place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The IPC Athletes’ Council is a highly engaged group consisting of 12 current and retired Paralympians, and one from the IOC Athletes’ Commission Representative. Their mission is to be the voice of current, future and retired Paralympic athletes within the Paralympic Movement, in the strategic direction of the IPC, and to support athletes both on and off the field of play.
The term of office for the six summer athlete representatives on the IPC Athletes' Council (elected during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games) will come to an end during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Candidate applications are being accepted until Friday 2 April 2021, and candidates must be nominated via their respective National Paralympic Committees (NPCs). Only the six summer sport spots are up for election.
The role requires time commitment to actively participate in on-site gatherings; effective communication skills both in written and spoken English to relay athlete-related issues to the Movement’s leaders; as well as a high level of knowledge of the Paralympic Movement. Further details on the roles and responsibilities of the Council members are available on Paralympic.org
Chelsey Gotell, the outgoing IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson, said: "I’m proud of the progress that the IPC Athletes' Council has achieved over the last five years in increasing its presence and voice within the IPC and the wider Paralympic Movement. We’ve established and are now in the implementation phase of the first ever IPC Athletes’ Council strategy and are keen to ensure that the momentum we’ve built continues, as we transition six of our members out for new voices, perspectives and leadership.
“We are looking to recruit experienced athlete representatives who are passionate and knowledgeable about the Paralympic Movement, and who have time to commit to being a fully engaged and present member of the IPC Athletes’ Council.
“We have an important role to play. Building athlete leaders is at the core of everything the IPC Athletes’ Council does. When we look long-term, athletes who have strong leadership, communication and governance skills will be more inclined to become community leaders, business leaders, Governing Board members and hopefully future presidents of the IPC, NPCs, International Federations, and International Organisations of Sport for the Disabled. At the end of the day, a key role of the IPC Athletes’ Council is about leaving a meaningful imprint on the movement that will benefit anyone who follows.”
Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “If the last year has taught us anything it is that our athletes are at the heart of everything that we do. Their voice must be central to the discussions and decisions that are made for the future of the Paralympic Movement.
“As an athlete-centred organisation, the IPC Athletes' Council has provided invaluable feedback to many of our strategic priorities as well as the programmes and initiatives the IPC has implemented. They are also our direct connection into the athlete community, which has helped us make decisions that are in the best interest of our athletes and our Movement.
“Given the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to understand the concerns of our athlete community. We welcome the opportunity to have strong athlete leaders join the IPC Athletes’ Council and help us continue to set the standard of what it means to be athlete-centred."
As only one athlete per NPC can be on the IPC Athletes' Council at the same time, NPCs that currently have a winter representative elected on the IPC Athletes' Council are not eligible to put forward a candidate.