To mark the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) 25th anniversary today, IPC President Sir Philip Craven has said people should be proud of the IPC’s many achievements and stated that much more work still needs to done over the coming years to fulfil its vision.
It was on 22 September 1989 at a meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany, that the IPC was formed as the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement under the stewardship of founding President Dr. Robert Steadward OC, AOE, LLD.
Its purpose was to be `the only World Multi-Disability Organisation with the right to organise the Paralympic and Multi-Disability World Games, as well as World Championships’. Since its formation, the organisation has undergone significant changes and gone from strength-to-strength.
“In the last 25 years the IPC has been transformed from a disability organisation into one of world’s most respected international sporting bodies,” said Sir Philip who took over from Steadward as IPC President in 2001.
“We have developed an enviable track record for staging spectacular sporting events and increasing participation together with our members around the world. We should be really proud of our achievements.
“This success is not just down to those who work or have worked at the IPC, it is down to everyone within the Paralympic Movement. This covers thousands of dedicated individuals including volunteers and employees at National Paralympic Committees, International Federations, International Organisation of Sport for the Disabled (IOSDs), spectators, the media and partners; everyone has contributed to our success.”
One major factor behind the IPC’s growth has been its relationship with the IOC, which formally dates back to October 2000 when the two organisations signed a Co-operation Agreement.
Since then the relationship has grown stronger each year, and in 2012 the two signed a Partnership Agreement which not only ensures the Paralympic Games are held in the same city as the Olympic Games through to 2020 but provides greater financial security and brand protection for the Paralympic Movement.
Sir Philip said: “The first IPC-IOC Agreement signed in 2000 by Presidents Steadward and Samaranch provided rock solid foundations on which the Paralympic Movement could build.
“The Paralympics are now firmly established as part of a 60-day festival of sport alongside the Olympics. They have grown into the world’s third biggest sporting event behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup which is a stunning achievement.”
Originally based in Bruges, Belgium, the IPC in its early years shared an office with the Flemish League for Sports for People with a Disability. It did not have an official headquarters until 1999 when it moved to Bonn, Germany, and started to recruit full-time staff.
Since then the organisation has grown rapidly and today the IPC employs nearly 70 full-time staff across two buildings in the former West German capital.
Still responsible for co-ordinating the organisation of the Paralympic Games, the IPC also serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions.
By IPC Media