With the 2015 Inas Conference and General Assembly formally scheduled to get underway tomorrow in Sheffield, England, attendees have started to arrive. Around 80 total attendees from around the world are scheduled to participate.
Among the presentations at the conference will be one on the upcoming Global Games scheduled to take place in Guayaquil, Ecuador in September. The 1st Inas Awards are scheduled to be awarded on the final day of the conference. In the Best Male Athlete category, two athletes have been shortlisted: Portugal’s Lenine Cuhna and Hong Kong’s Wai Lok Tang. On the women’s side, Great Britain’s Bethany Firth and Hong Kong’s Ka Man Wong have been shortlisted for the Best Female Athlete award. The ceremony will also see the first person inducted into the Inas Hall of Fame.
While globally, there has been an overall increase in sport participation by people with disabilities, sport participation for people with intellectual disabilities has been declining. This is an issue that will be addressed at the conference. INAS Executive Director Nick Parr was quoted by the International Paralympic Committee as saying, “It’s important that we understand the reasons behind this decline and take steps to reverse the trend […] There are worldwide opportunities in sports beyond the three that are currently included in the Paralympic Games programme [athletics, swimming and table tennis] for athletes with an intellectual disability, and it’s vital that we promote and support them.”