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The Paralympic Movement Takes Off


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Speaker(s): Sir Philip Craven
Chair: Professor Paul Kelly

Recorded on 14 October 2013 in Old Theatre, Old Building.

Since the origins of the Paralympic Games at Stoke Mandeville the key challenge has been putting basic building blocks in place and overcoming issues of prejudice. The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games was a clear breakthrough as illustrated in various press reports, but the London 2012 Paralympic Games heralded the real coming of age for the movement, full stadiums, magnificent athletic performances, consistent brand values that resonated with the public and true global coverage of the event.

Now at the inflection point poised for major growth, Sir Philip Craven the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will pose some critical strategic questions: Should the IPC focus be on building the momentum of the current products or widening the scope of the IPC to encompass a broader inclusion agenda? Are there resources available to do both?

Along with this, major organisations and industry thought leaders are now recognising the value of association with the IPC, Sir Philip will discuss the challenge for the IPC to capitalise on this and help build a society in which people with an impairment are fully integrated. This is the exciting opportunity the IPC is faced with, to fully enfranchise on average 10% of each country's population with impairment through stimulating behavioural change of the other 90% and at the same time helping people with an impairment to build inspiration from the great achievements of Paralympians.

Sir Philip Craven has been President of the International Paralympic Committee, the global Governing Body of the Paralympic Movement since 2001 and oversaw his sixth Paralympic Games in London last year.

During his time as IPC President, the Paralympic Movement has enjoyed significant growth and now boasts over 200 members, including 174 National Paralympic Committees across the globe. The Paralympic Games have also developed rapidly and following London 2012 they are now the third biggest sporting event in the world behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup.

In addition to being the global head of the Paralympic Movement, Bolton born Sir Philip is an IOC Member and a Member of the British Olympic Association's Executive Board.

Before becoming President of the IPC, Sir Philip was President of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation having previously held roles at national and international level within the sport.

He is a five-time Paralympian having made his debut in 1972 competing in two sports - swimming and wheelchair basketball. He went on to represent Great Britain at wheelchair basketball at a further four Paralympic Games between 1976 and 1988.

During his international wheelchair basketball career Sir Philip won the 1973 world title and two European titles in 1971 and 1974.

In 1991 he received an MBE in recognition of his services to wheelchair basketball and in 2005 was knighted for his services to Paralympic Sport. He has also received numerous honorary doctorates and in 2012 was presented with the Sports Industry Awards Lifetime Achievement.

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