The International Triathlon Union’s membership with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) became official as it was ratified at the 15th IPC General Assembly in Beijing this past weekend.
ITU President and IOC member Marisol Casado, who attended the General Assembly in China with Dr. Sarah Springman, ITU Vice-President and Executive Board Representative to the ITU Paratriathlon Committee, said she was honoured to be present for what was an important moment for ITU, the sport of Paratriathlon and all paratriathletes.
“Since the announcement that Paratriathlon would be included on the programme at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, ITU has been working with the IPC to improve competition and standards for paratriathletes worldwide and staging that first Paralympic competition,” she said.
“Now as a member of the IPC, we are honoured to officially become part of the vibrant Paralympic family and use this to drive our sport to even higher levels. Not only will those who compete in Rio achieve their dream of becoming Paralympians, but now all paratriathletes can consider themselves part of the international Paralympic family,” said Casado. “It is an honour to officially join this Paralympic family, on behalf of the ITU would like to thank IPC President Sir Phillip Craven and the IPC board.”
As well as President Casado and Vice President Springman, ITU staff member Eric Angstadt attended the 15th General Assembly and the two-day IPC conference, aimed to tie in with one of the Strategic Goals of the IPC’s Strategic Plan 2011-2014, which is to build the organizational capabilities of the Paralympic Movement.
Angstadt and Dr Springman met with IPC staff to discuss the current status and progress of Paratriathlon towards Rio 2016.
Angstadt attended the International Federations programme at the IPC Conference, which was aimed at growing and developing International Federations. Learning outcomes included creating and delivering Paralympic Games excellence, developing a communication strategy to improve communications with the IPC, interacting with National Federations to ensure their engagement in athlete pathway development, and promoting your support globally through integrated development planning.
It also included organising committee presentations from London 2012 and Sochi 2014 as well as joint meetings with regional councils, and another session with the IPC Governing Board and IPC Chief Executive.
Hundreds of participants attended both the conference and general assembly, as IPC President Sir Phillip Craven opened the week’s proceedings in Beijing by saying that the Paralympic Movement’s best times are still to come.
“If Beijing in 2008 marked the moment the Paralympic Movement grew up and the world took notice, then I believe the coming years will see us grow in maturity and captivate billions as our athletes continue to inspire and excite the world,” he said.
“We can feel rightly proud of our achievements so far, however, we should feel a greater sense of excitement about what we still have to achieve together.