Memorandum submitted by the British Paralympic
1. BRITISH PARALYMPIC
The British Paralympic Association (BPA) was
incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee in April 1989 and
registered as a Charity in November 1989.
The BPA's remit is to organise and co-ordinate
British participation in Winter and Summer Paralympic Games and
to assist Governing Organisations of Paralympic Sports in Great
Britain and Northern Ireland in the preparation of competitors
in their respective sports for the Paralympic Games. However,
since BPA's inception in 1989, it has assumed a wider remit to
support the Paralympic sports squads as they have moved from a
disability structure towards a sports specific structure and to
advise National Governing Bodies (NGBs), Sports Councils, Government,
media and corporate partners on elite disability sport more generally.
The BPA is the British member of the International Paralympic
In relation to international sporting events,
the BPA has the following powers in furtherance of its charitable
To ensure that appropriate arrangements
are made for the organisation of the Paralympic Games whenever
they are awarded by the IPC to a host venue in Great Britain and
To assist in the participation of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland in any other Games or Festivals
of Sport sanctioned by the IPC.
Since incorporation the BPA has been responsible
for the co-ordination of the Great Britain Teams for the following
competitions: World Youth Games Miami 1989, World Games Assen
1990, Tignes Winter Paralympics 1992, Barcelona and Madrid Summer
Paralympics 1992, Lillehammer Winter Paralympics 1994, World Athletics
Championships Berlin 1994, World Swimming Championships Malta
1994, Atlanta Summer Paralympics 1996, Nagano Winter Paralympics
1998, World Athletics Championships Birmingham 1998 and Sydney
Summer Paralympics 2000.
The Great Britain Paralympic Team continues
to be one of the most successful Paralympic Teams in the World
finishing third at the Barcelona Games in 1992, fourth at the
Atlanta Paralympic Games and second behind Australia at the Sydney
2000 Paralympic Games.
The BPA liaises with the British Olympic Association
in order to co-operate more closely in areas of mutual interest
and has observer status on the National Olympic Committee.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
was established in 1989, its remit being to award, supervise and
co-ordinate Winter and Summer Paralympic Games and multi-disability
World and Regional Championships. Its voting members are National
Paralympic Committees, international disability specific sports
organisations (IOSDs) and sports in the Paralympic programme.
3. BRIEF HISTORY
The disability sports movement was started in
1948 by Sir Ludwig Guttmann at Stoke Mandeville. Since 1960 there
have been "Paralympic Games" of some sort every four
years in the same year and country as the Olympic Games. The exceptions
to date were 1968 (when the Olympics were in Mexico and the Paralympics
in Israel), 1980 (when the Olympics were in Russia and the Paralympics
in the Netherlands) and 1984 (when the Olympics were in the USA
and the Paralympics were split between the USA and the UK.) The
Seoul Paralympics in 1988 were the first at which Paralympic Teams
used the same facilities as their Olympic counterparts.
Since the inception of the IPC, the international
event cycle has been structured on the Paralympic Games held just
a short time after the Olympic Games with the even year between
Paralympic Games designated for World Championships and the odd
years given to regional championships (Europeans for British competitors.)
4. BPA POLICY
The BPA believes that the same opportunities
for participation and competition in their chosen sport should
be available to competitors with any disabilities as exist for
their non-disabled peers.
The BPA supports the present situation whereby
events for athletes with disabilities in the Olympic programme
are limited to exhibition/demonstration status only.
Exhibition events for athletes with a disability
are held at the Olympic Games and IAAF Championships in the wheelchair
1500m for men and the wheelchair 800m for women. In the case of
the World Athletics Championships, the events have moved from
having exhibition status to full medal status.
5. IPCIOC RELATIONSHIP
The BPA supports the IOC Reforms adopted by
the IOC during its 110th Extraordinary Session in December 1999
in Lausanne aimed at ensuring that, whenever possible, the Olympics
and Paralympics are held in the same venue, with bids being considered
jointly by the IOC and IPC.
IOC Reforms 15.1 and 15.1.4 endeavour to outline
and expand upon the future relationship between the IOC and IPC.
15.1 The IOC will formalise its relationship
with the IPC through a contract or memorandum of understanding.
Clear rules concerning the link between the Olympic Games and
the Paralympic Games must be set.
15.1.4 The Paralympic movement, through
a member of the IPC and Paralympian athletes could be represented
in the IOC. Similarly, the Olympic movement could be represented
in the IPC.
A copy of a recent agreement signed between
the IOC and IPC is attached at Appendix 1.
Between 1998 and 2000, 24 World Championships
for Elite Athletes with a Disability will have been staged. The
regional distribution of those Championships sees Europe staging
55 per cent, the Americas with 21 per cent, South Pacific 8 per
cent and Africa, East Asia and the Middle East each with 4 per
cent. Locations for 4 per cent of the events are yet to be confirmed.
Just two of those Championships were staged in the UK in the sports
of archery and athletics, both in 1998.
The United Kingdom Co-ordinating Committee on
Sport for People with Disabilities (UKCC) was established in 1991
as a forum to enhance the co-operation, liaison and communication
between the BPA, National Disability Sports Organisations, home
country disability sports organisations and Sports Councils.
In 1999 the UKCC reconvened a previously established
sub-committee to consider a major disability sport events strategy,
the intention being to identify priority events and criteria against
which Lottery support would be recommended to UK Sport's Major
Events Support Group. A copy of the document produced is attached
at Appendix 2.
8. THE BIDDING
IOC Reforms adopted by the IOC at its 110th
Extraordinary Session in December 1999 in Lausanne sought to clarify
and strengthen the IOC/IPC relationship in relation to the organisation
of Paralympic Games.
15.1.1 The Paralympics must be organised
in the same city as the Olympic Games. The obligation for the
host city to organise the Paralympic Games must be included in
the host city contract.
15.1.2 The Paralympic Games will always
follow the Olympic Games.
15.1.3 The IPC will have a representative
in both the IOC Evaluation Commission and the Co-ordination Commission.
The BPA and BOA have yet to hold formal discussions
on the inclusion of the Paralympic Games in a potential London
2012 Olympic bid, but the BOA Chief Executive has given assurances
that the BOA will wish to include the BPA in the deliberations
at an appropriate point in the future.
In July 2000, the BPA and the London Sports
Forum were approached by and met with London International Sport
to contribute to a sustainability policy being written for inclusion
in a document to Government. Both organisations responded with
a wish to see a number of principles stated at the outset of the
document. The principles would seek to affirm that any potential
bid would be fully inclusive for athletes with a disability and
would offer wider inclusion for the public at large in terms of
the environmental, social, sporting and community impact and legacy
of a London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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