In its purest form, sport makes us the best version of ourselves. It is a force for good within us and for improvement in the world around us. Believing in the positive power of sport, I would like the opportunity, as President, to lead the IPC through its next chapter based on a philosophy of engagement, equity, and integrity.
For those who do not know me, I am a 1992 Paralympic athlete; former president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Canadian Amputee Association; a Chef de Mission in Nagano 1998; IPC representative on the IOC Coordination Commission for London 2012; a director with Vancouver 2010; and a three-term Governing Board member of the IPC. By profession, I am a Petroleum Engineering Technologist, certified teacher, business owner and currently the Executive Director of Canada Snowboard. Most importantly, I am a passionate believer in and advocate for the global Paralympic Movement.
From modest roots, having been born and raised in a farming village of less than 200 people in western Canada, business and sport helped me discover the world – so far, over 80 countries on six continents. I’ve always been active and even after losing my left hand in an industrial accident, sport remained the main theme in my life. Now, with more than 30 years’ experience in the Paralympic movement, I have seen what is possible when committed individuals work together. It is this that inspires me to run for President of the IPC.
OUR FUTURE: WORLD CLASS MODEL ORGANIZATION
The IPC was officially created in 1989, although our community was born decades earlier. From humble beginnings to great successes and a promising future, change has not always been easy. Today we are a world apart from when I, as a young athlete, ran face-first into a system that seemed more about disability and sympathy than about sport and excellence.
Indeed, things have improved greatly. There is more respect. There is more fairness. Our athletes achieve and inspire. Their stories amaze and as a result, lives change. And yet more is still possible to ensure that the IPC continues to progress as a leading, respected and innovative organization.
OUR WAY FORWARD: MORE IS POSSIBLE
If elected President, I will commit to five areas of focus: sport first, level playing fields, strong partnerships, increased capacity and robust governance.
Sport First: Lead with the Transformative Power of Paralympic Sport
Our primary motivation must remain sport and athletes. This means keeping Paralympic sport front and centre, focusing on the quality of the Paralympic Games and the value of Paralympic competition. Let us put sport first by:
- Enhancing opportunities across the regions for hosting events and competitions, based on the unique needs of the regions and our members; and
- Working through the Agitos Foundation to build our global reach to ensure that people from all member nations have access to training and development opportunities.
Level Playing Fields: Fair Play and Clean Sport
There must be no doubt about the integrity of our sports. It is essential that we oversee sound and fair competitions with a level playing field assured for all. Elements to improve confidence in our system include:
- Effective implementation and monitoring of the Athlete Classification Code, with a focus on continuous improvement;
- Improving education about anti-doping to improve compliance; and
- Taking a clear stand against all corruption in sport.
Strong Partnerships: Develop Resilient Relationships
Our strength from diversity can only be achieved through an inclusive approach with respect for the unique challenges our members face. This includes formalizing a system where:
- National Paralympic Committees, International Federations, International Organizations of Sports for the Disabled, and the Regions can all consistently and effectively engage with IPC leadership through both technology and formal membership working sessions; and
- We strengthen our relationship with the International Olympic Committee, enhancing mutually beneficial initiatives.
Increased Capacity: More Resources, More Growth
We must continue to grow our capacity to serve our community by cultivating increased resources. This will involve:
- Refining our long-term broadcast strategy to ensure global reach for our athletes’ remarkable stories to help build our brand; and
- Reviewing, strengthening and modernizing our global and regional strategies for marketing and fundraising, to expand financial support for our mission.
Robust Governance: World-Class Systems and Processes
We must better serve our community through good governance, with clear roles and responsibilities for the IPC Governing Board, committees and members, fully utilizing everyone’s abilities. This starts with:
- A thorough assessment to learn about and implement the governance lessons of highly-respected organizations around the world, including best practices to serve our needs; and
- Ensuring that all IPC Governing Board members are fully engaged and supported, so as to empower them with authority and accountability.
During my three decades of commitment to the Paralympic movement as a volunteer and professional, I have gained deep experience in governance, business, international relations, Games and sport administration. This experience, along with my proven ability to unite people and build consensus, makes me ideally suited to serve the global Paralympic community as the next President of the IPC.
Thank you for your support,
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