The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) yesterday (10 May) signed, at the UN Heaquarters in Geneva, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the two parties collaborate and co-operate to further develop the sport of Athletics, both for able-bodied athletes and athletes with a disability.
Signed by both Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and Mr. Lamine Diack, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), during the International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development in Geneva, the MoU includes various areas of co-operation, such as sport rules, mutual promotion, training of technical officials and sharing and exchanging knowledge and resources.
The IAAF will furthermore invite prospective Organizing Committees to bid to host the IPC Athletics World Championships in conjunction with the IAAF World Championships.
In addition, the IPC and IAAF will work to develop a plan to encourage the worldwide growth of Athletics for Para-Athletes and the Paralympic Movement through an on-going awareness campaign targeting IAAF Member Associations.
The agreement was signed in the presence of the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Sport for Development, Wilfried Lemke, a strong believer in the power of sport to promote the full inclusion of persons with disabilities into society. Also a dedicated advocate of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mr. Lemke expressed his satisfaction to see Goal n°8 ("Develop a global partnership for development") being further advanced through this agreement, for the benefit of athletes around the world.
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “I am delighted about the partnership with IAAF as it will support the development of IPC Athletics.
“Through this co-operation, more competition opportunities will be created for Para-Athletes and thus helping the growth of Para-Athletics worldwide.”
IAAF President Lamine Diack commented: “Today’s signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the IAAF and IPC marks a substantial consolidation of the existing friendly and beneficial relationship between us.
“We have long presented Para-Athlete competitions at the IAAF World Championships as demonstration events, and we will now actively encourage our Member Federations to further embrace the Paralympic Movement, with the prospect that future World Championships for able-bodied athletes and athletes with a disability could be held in conjunction with each other.”
Athletics has been part of the Paralympic Games since 1960 and events are open to male and female athletes in all disability groups. Athletes compete according to their functional classifications in each event and these events are continually being redefined to include as many athletes as possible.