Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the British Paralympic Association


  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 Committee (IPC).

  In relation to international sporting events, the BPA has the following powers in furtherance of its charitable objects:

    —  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 Northern Ireland.

    —  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.


  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.)


  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.


  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[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[2].


  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.

November 2000

1   Not printed. Back

2   Not printed. Back

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