The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), in its capacity as the governing body of Para sport and the international federation for multiple Para sports, has created a new grassroots-to-high performance programme called PARA SPORT. It aims to support National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Federations, bringing together events, activities and organisations to help change the story around persons with disabilities.
The PARA SPORT narrative, “It Starts With Sport”, is inspired by the journey of high performance Para athletes and complements the wider IPC brand narrative of ‘Change Starts With Sport,’ which communicates the transformational impact that Para sport has on society. The PARA SPORT programme has three core elements:
• Awareness – Help people with disabilities engage more actively in sport by raising awareness of Para sport opportunities and the benefits of the programmes for them and their families. Everyone is welcome.
• Community – At its heart, PARA SPORT is about inclusion. Given that sport is often about the people we meet, and the memories made along the way, there will be a togetherness felt by both individuals and their families.
• Freedom – PARA SPORT programmes will give people an opportunity to challenge themselves and help increase their confidence. Those involved in Para sport have a profound sense of freedom, empowerment, and a strong sense of personal identity.
To support the launch of PARA SPORT, a film has been developed by creative agency adam&eveDDB. Narrated by British Para swimmer Alice Tai, it covers the full breadth of sport participation, from first timers to multi-gold-medallists like her, but emphasising that sport is not about winning, it’s about new beginnings, friendships and confidence. It demonstrates that wherever you begin and wherever you are going, it starts with sport.
A new distinctive PARA SPORT visual brand identity has been created by leading global brand agency Design Bridge and sonic branding agency MassiveMusic. The visual identity incorporates the starting block, echoing the focus on beginnings.
Accessible and multi-sensory, the highly versatile brand connects a large spectrum of activities from the grassroots development to high performance level, such as world championships, and is relevant to all those looking to engage in Para sports. The design is flexible enough to work in several assets and with other brand systems while also boasting a series of unique visual and sonic elements.
Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “The launch of PARA SPORT is a seminal moment as we show that sport can be a new beginning for everyone. It is fantastic for us to have platforms where elite athletes can impress the world with their medal-winning performances and encourage persons with disabilities to begin a journey in sport.
“With PARA SPORT we see sport not only as what it means for performance, but what it can do to signal a new chance at life. Whether you are a beginner, an amateur already in Para sport or aspiring athlete, we believe that everyone deserves recognition and support in whatever competition they’re in, no matter their level. We want to ensure that sport is recognised for its impact on the wider community and not simply as an activity.”
Supporting the programme’s creation, a dedicated PARA SPORT website www.PARA.SPORT has launched that will be a global home for Para sport, covering all activities from the grassroots to the world championships levels. Bespoke social channels have also been launched.
Content planned for 2022 includes event-related content and the new video series called ‘It Starts With Sport’, where leading Para athletes detail how they first started in the discipline and their Para sport journey.