“This year marks 40 years since Sweden hosted the first-ever Paralympic Winter Games.”
Representatives from 26 nations around the world will be in Ostersund, Sweden – where the first-ever Paralympic Winter Games were held – on 22-24 April, to celebrate the future of Paralympic winter sport.
Johan Strid, Secretary General the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Sweden, said: “This year marks 40 years since Sweden hosted the first-ever Paralympic Winter Games. Now it feels natural that we reconvene here to take the next strategic step for continued global development of Paralympic winter sports.”
Ostersund is a hub for winter sports, and it is looking to continue hosting more international competitions and developing Paralympic winter sports. The region recently hosted the 2016 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey European Championships, held 5-10 April, with Russia being crowned champions.
To meet Sweden’s aims, an international conference title "Para-Athletes Pathway in Winter Sports" was organised to begin Friday (22 April) in Ostersund.
Ostersund municipality's growth manager Per Johansson said: “Events, in sports and other activities, has a great importance for national and regional destination development. In Ostersund and the region, we have good experience in winter sports area with, for example, biathlon and alpine areas. Creating the conditions for long-term cooperation and successful events also in para-sports area feels completely obvious.”
The aim of the conference is to develop a long-term plan for the future development of winter sports and get more people with impairments to practice winter sports. The meeting is also an opportunity to establish contacts for future collaborations and an opportunity to showcase the Ostersund region in an international context.
The initiative for the workshop came when the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) turned 25 and was a joint proposal by the County Administrative Board of Jamtland, Mid Sweden University, Para Sports Jamtland Härjedalen and Ostersund, and NPC Sweden.