Valued colleagues and friends, leaders within the Paralympic Movement,
This is a pivotal time in the history of our movement. As we consider our next steps for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), I ask you one, critical question: What kind of organization do we want to be?
The question itself is anything but simple. Who – and what – do we stand for? What role can – and should – we play in this increasingly complex world of Sport? Are we brave enough to explore the kind of cultural change that will allow us to function as a true and effective community?
When we come together again this September to elect our new governing body, and - for the first time in 16 years – a new President, your answer will help to determine the future of the Paralympic movement for years to come.
So, I ask you again, what kind of organization do we want to be?
For those who do not know me, I am a 1992 Paralympic athlete. I am a three-term Governing Board member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). I am a Canadian, an engineer, a life-long learner. And most importantly, I am a passionate believer in and advocate for the global Paralympic Movement.
We all have our reasons for being here on this journey with the IPC. We all have ideas, hopes and dreams about what this movement could mean for the world of sport and beyond.
Perhaps you believe, as I do, that we can strive to be so much more, both as an organisation and as a global community. My Sport background has led me to believe in the strength of a team, and in the pursuit of continuous improvement. I believe that we can be better: that we can build on the accomplishments this movement has seen over the last 16 years to get there. I believe we can be stronger – both in how we function as a world-class organization, and how we advocate for our athletes, their hopes and dreams. And I believe we can be more effectively connected: both to the national Sport organizations that do the heavy lifting within the Paralympic movement, and within this very organization itself.
All this is attainable. But only if we lead through our own example of what it means to be a community.
Sport in its purest form helps makes us the best version of ourselves, both as individuals and as communities. It is a force for good within us, and change and improvement in the world around us. And I would like the opportunity to take the Paralympic movement through its next chapter following a very specific philosophy of engagement, equity, and integrity.
With that in mind, I respectfully ask for your consideration to be President of the IPC in 2017.
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Our diverse, talented community is rich with ideas, perspectives and learnings from which we can all benefit. As President, I would establish processes so all members – regardless of country size or team size - can engage with IPC leadership effectively and consistently. Only then can we accurately understand our collective issues, identify needs, and ensure that we focus on those things that will make the greatest difference.
This community elects a Governing Board of 12 members. All twelve should be fully engaged with their defined responsibilities and given their authority, leadership is accountable to make sure we fully utilize their abilities. You elect all of them to work, serve and represent you, and we need to ensure this happens.