Sir Philip Craven’s visit to India will raise para-sport’s profile

IPC President laid the foundation stone for a new Indian Para-Sports Academy on Tuesday (24 November). 25 Nov 2014
Sir Philip Craven speaking on stage

IPC President Sir Philip Craven speaks at the IPC membership Gathering in Berlin on 3 October 2014

ⒸJoachim Radtke

The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) took the first steps towards establishing the Indian Para-Sports Academy on Tuesday (25 November) when International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven laid the foundation stone at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium complex.

PCI President Rajesh Tomar said Sir Philip’s visit would help raise the profile of Paralympic sport in India by reaching out to the general public.

“We have a large population of people with special abilities but little has been done towards encouraging them to take to sport. We have initiated a number of measures, including the 1st Indian Open Para National Games from 3-10 March 2015,” he said.

The inaugural Indian Open will be the first of its kind in India and is being actively supported by the Department of Disability, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment along with Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. It will give many of India’s 2,000 para-athletes the opportunity to compete in multi-discipline Games for the first time.

“Besides securing the support of the Ministry of Disabilities, PCI has secured the inclusion of corporate support to Paralympic Sport as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility activities and secured tax benefits. We are also grateful to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport and the Sports Authority of India for establishing the Para Sports Academy with PCI,” Tomar added.

“Sir Philip is a role model and his visit will enhance our dream of ensuring that the Paralympic Movement gains deeper roots in India,” the PCI President said. “It is a great chance for us to familiarise more Indians with para-sport and impress on them the need to create a more inclusive society.”

During his visit Sir Philip also met government and Olympic officials, as well as legendry cricketer and PCI ambassador Kapil Dev. He also met Indian medal winners from October’s Asian Para Games in Incheon, Korea.