In his New Years Day remarks, IPC President Philip Craven said, “Although 2015 is not a Paralympic year, it will be one of the busiest to date, with multiple Worlds and regional Championships taking place, many of which will be qualifiers for Rio 2016.”
He also said, “Although 2015 is not a Paralympic year, it will be one of the busiest to date, with multiple Worlds and regional Championships taking place, many of which will be qualifiers for Rio 2016.
“Following on from the tremendous success of Sochi 2014, each of the Paralympic winter sports will stage a World Championships in the first five months of 2015, starting with the IPC Biathlon and Cross Country Skiing World Championships in Cable, USA – which get underway on 23 January – and finishing with the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool in Buffalo, USA, which conclude on 2 May.
“The summer and autumn months will see many major events take place in summer sports including July’s IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain, and October’s IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
“Arguably the biggest and most important sporting event of the year however is August’s Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games which will feature 1,600 athletes from 28 countries competing in 15 sports.
“It is vital that Toronto 2015 is a success and that we leverage the event to generate greater awareness of the Paralympic Movement in the Americas ahead of Rio 2016.”
Craven also noted that the 2016 Paralympic Games are 615 days away, and that the IPC is more relaxed about and confident that the Brazilian organizers will have the venues ready in time for the start of competition. He also stated the IPC Governing Board will make a decision this month regarding which seven sports amongst eight will be included on the Paralympic program for the 2020 Summer Paralympics during a meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The IPC President’s remarks were mirrored by boccia’s BISFed President David Hadfield, who said in his own New Years Day remarks, “And now it is 2015 during which we will see the busiest competitive schedule in the history of boccia – so I can’t wait. Of course many athletes will have their sights set on a place at the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016, and this year’s competitions offer many opportunities to earn World Ranking points towards that goal and I expect the competition to be tougher than ever.”
Hadfield went on to talk about boccia’s goal to expand the game around the globe through the ‘Making Boccia Accessible’ program, which strives to provide ‘BISFed Standard Boccia Balls’ and training in countries where the sport has a limited presence.