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IBSA’s President Speech at the Asian Paralympic Committee in Saudi Arabia

Date: November 27, 2023

Category: General

Dear President and Dear members,

Thank you Mr. President for giving me a moment to address this important gathering.

I was so fortunate to attend the Hangzhou Asian Games and was hugely impressed with everything – accommodation, venues the sport and even more the performances of our athletes and my blind and visually impaired athletes in particular – sorry I am biased!!

I have only been IBSA President for a few months but the inspiration I received in Hangzhou has reinforced my ambition to make IBSA a more relevant organisation for you the NPCs of Asia and the world

I want to share some updates about what the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) is working on. Many of you are valued IBSA Members, and I want to honestly talk about our shared goals.

We’re committed to creating a supportive environment for blind and visually impaired individuals in sports. This includes current and future athletes reaching their full potential. We’re working on making IBSA a stronger sports federation to achieve this.

To do this, we’re putting more effort into the IBSA Board, addressing a wider range of issues together. This will make IBSA’s operations more transparent and build confidence with our partners and other sports federations.

A big step is the Athletes Council, recently elected within IBSA. The Chairperson of the Athletes Council is now part of the IBSA Board, making sure athletes have a say in the organization’s decisions.

We’ve also created ten working groups, each led by IBSA Board members, to focus on specific areas like the IBSA Strategic Review, Finance and Budget, Classification, Sports Strategy, Anti-Doping Strategy, and more.

We’re prioritizing regional development, especially in Asia. We want to improve initiatives for the blind and visually impaired in different parts of the world. This includes strengthening IBSA regional offices to boost activities.

Our goal is to organize more competitions in these regions to stimulate sports growth and discover new talent. This talent often becomes a showcase, creating awareness of possibilities in their communities.

I encourage every nation to contribute by establishing sports programs for visually impaired people, providing equipment, and training coaches. Blind and visually impaired individuals are among the most isolated in our communities. You, the members of this assembly, understand the power of sports—that’s why you’re here!

In conclusion, I invite each of you to support and engage in the transformation of IBSA. My Executive Committee and I are excited about collaborations with those passionate about sports and the welfare of our athletes.

Thank you for your attention, and let’s push Paralympic sports to new heights together.

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