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A Memorandum of Understanding between IPC and WDSF has been entered into by the two organisations in October 2008. In it, they pledge to develop and promote Wheelchair DanceSport jointly, and to work towards establishing a single international governing governing body for DanceSport, including Wheelchair.
In his report to the 15th IPC General Assembly in Beijing, CHN, on 10 December, IPC President Sir Philip Craven outlined the requirements for the nine sports currently administered directly by IPC to be released to independence.
President's Biennial Report
As the International Federation for nine sports, the IPC has witnessed the number of athletes and countries competing in all its sports increase over the last two years, a period which has seen all sports stage successful world or regional championships.
It still remains the clear desire of the IPC, relevant stakeholders and IPC sports representatives to transition the remaining nine IPC sports to independence.
The IPC’s responsibility is to actively plan to create the opportunity for this transition to occur, a process made easier, and more attractive to potential partners, as a result of the continued growth of each sport.
The aim for sports independence is the end of 2016, however it must be stressed that this will only happen if the sport is self-sustainable, and its independence will not be detrimental to the sport’s continued growth.
The signs though are promising however, if you consider how well some sports such as Para-Archery, Para-Cycling, Para-Equestrian and Para Table Tennis have blossomed following their independence from IPC.
The move towards independence of all these sports has increased their reach into previously unknown territory. It has expanded the choice for athletes, increased the awareness of the Paralympic Movement due to international federations including athletes in their competitions and calendars, led to better development programmes and training of coaches and officials.
The challenge for us now is two-fold – we need to assist the remaining sports to achieve their independence, and secondly we must help integrate the technical expertise and know-how of National Paralympic Committees, national Paralympic sports organisations and national association members of IFs.
Sir Philip Craven
IPC President | 10 December 2011
As the IPC is calling for bids for the 2013 European Wheelchair DanceSport Championship, this is as good a time as any to demonstrate that WDSF National Member Bodies have the motivation and the means to integrate such an event into one staged for the able-bodied athletes.
Bid application documentation below!