Suhl, Germany will stage the 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships, at which 300 athletes are expected to compete.

Address from Dr. Thomas de Maizière, Federal Minister of the German Interior, Member of Parliament and Patron of the 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships:

A steady hand, a clear head and razor-sharp vision – these are the attributes that define a successful participant in shooting competitions. When the best athletes from this sport meet in Suhl from 18-26 July, we can be sure to see some exciting contests. Around 300 athletes from nearly 50 countries will present attractive modern shooting sport, and you are invited to share their enthusiasm.

The sport of shooting has a long tradition here in Suhl, which is why I was particularly pleased when IPC Shooting decided to award this town the 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships. Back in 2007, the town of Suhl proved to be excellent host for a similar event, providing perfect conditions for the IPC Shooting European Championships.

Competitions between athletes with an impairment are a matter specifically close to my heart, which is why I welcome the opportunity of supporting this event. The determination of these athletes never ceases to impress me and can serve as an incentive for other people to improve the quality of their lives through sport and physical activity. Sport helps people to enjoy their lives, boosts self-confidence, improves levels of physical fitness and provides athletes with opportunities of making new friends. This is why I and the Federal Government are so committed to supporting top-level competitions for athletes with an impairment and why this support shall remain one of the planks of our overall sports policy.

I would also like to give my thanks to the large number of volunteers without whose valuable engagement it would be impossible to host a sporting event of this dimension. Their steadfast commitment provides the foundation for the success of this Championship.

In my capacity as the official patron of these World Championships, I hereby send my best wishes to the hosts of the event, to all athletes and to all of their guests: may the contests be fair and well-attended, may the competitors reach their personal objectives, and may the spectators witness an exciting and absorbing tournament.