The new International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board was elected on Friday (8 September) at the 18th IPC General Assembly in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with Andrew Parsons succeeding Sir Philip Craven as President.

Parsons, the former President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, was elected after one round of voting, beating off competition from Canada’s Patrick Jarvis, Denmark’s John Petersson and China’s Haidi Zhang.

“I would like to thank the IPC membership for their trust,” said Parsons. “Throughout my campaign I think I have explained what I plan to do as IPC President and the membership understood and gave me their support.

“I would also like to thank the three candidates who ran with me in this election – Patrick, John, Haidi.

“Thank you very much; it made this competition even stronger so I think we were four candidates offering very good options to the membership.

“Now it is time to roll up the sleeves and work really hard with the membership and the new Governing Board.”

New Zealand’s Duane Kale, a three-time gold medal winner in swimming at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympics was elected as Vice President, polling two more votes than rival candidate Petersson.

“I’d like to thank John – we competed not in the same classification, but we are both swimmers and we know what close racing is all about,” said Kale.

“I am really looking forward to working with the new President. I think we will make a fantastic team and I think that is important for the Movement.”

In the afternoon session, 10 Members at Large were elected by the IPC Membership after six rounds of voting.

They were:
·       Debra Alexander (ITU)
·       Mohammed Alhemeli (UAE)
·       Muffy Davis (USA)
·       Rita van Driel (NED)
·       Sung Il Kim (KOR)
·       Luca Pancalli (ITA)
·       Leonel da Rocha Pinto (African Paralympic Committee)
·       Tim Reddish (GBR)
·       Juan Pablo Salazar (COL)
·       Yasushi Yamawaki (JPN)

Chelsey Gotell, the IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson, who also forms part of the IPC Governing Board, said: “I would like to congratulate all the members of the new IPC Governing Board on their election.

“I am looking forward to working with the new President and the new Board to ensure the IPC is an athlete centred organisation and the athlete voice is heard at the executive table.”

The Governing Board will serve a four-year term with elections next held in 2021.  It will hold its first informal meeting on Saturday (9 September).