Badminton World Federation has been admitted to membership of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) at its 17th General Assembly in Mexico City last Sunday.
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer (at right; right) and BWF Chair – Para-Badminton Paul Kurzo (at right; left) attended the two-day meeting which included an information day for IPC membership on Saturday. This latest achievement further cements ties between BWF and the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement and follows last year’s historic inclusion of para-badminton on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sports programme.
“We are pleased to be admitted to membership of the IPC. It is an important step in serving our athletes with impairments and we look forward to a strong and wonderful relationship with IPC and working together for the betterment of para-sports in general and para-badminton in particular,” said Høyer.
Prior to Sunday’s formal vote by the General Assembly, BWF was a provisional IPC member. Three other international federations were also accorded IPC membership; the World Taekwondo Federation, the International Sailing Federation and the International Federation of CP (Cerebral Palsy) Football. In total, nine new organisations were approved for membership; the other five being National Paralympic Committees (NPCs).
Other key items on the agenda during the full-day event included a number of motions which were approved by the IPC membership. Among these was the 2015 IPC Athlete Classification Code. Effective from 1 January 2017, the new Code is more athlete-focused and accessible. More than 2,700 comments were received during three rounds of consultation with stakeholders which started in June 2013.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven (above; right) said: “I would like to thank all those who contributed and also congratulate the IPC Athlete Classification Committee, led by Chairperson Anne Hart, for producing this new Athlete Classification Code. I hope it gives a greater understanding of the subject and the processes involved for all.”
The IPC Governing Board also approved the venues for 19 of the 22 Paralympic sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, including para-badminton which will share Yoyogi National Stadium with wheelchair rugby.
Following the evaluation of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games sports programme in late 2016, details of the Tokyo 2020 sports programme will be announced in early 2017. BWF will then know how many athletes it will be allocated and can then announce the programme of Sport Classes and qualification will take place in late 2017/early 2018.