Earlier this month, the National Paralympic Committee of Iraq held their General Assembly. Several things were discussed at the meeting, including the current Rio Paralympic qualifying efforts and the pathways to insure more Iraqi sportspeople qualify for the Games.
A budget for 2016 was approved, and the budget for 2015 was looked at, with a notation they were running a deficit, with a gap expected income versus spending. One of the causes for this in the 2015 budget was a result of transportation related costs. Another thing discussed at the meeting were plans to host five international national team training camps for Iraqi sportspeople headed to Rio, and three external national team training camps.
The NPC discussed how one of their current trends has been to work within their region, to give Iraqi athletes opportunities to gain international experience and access to additional coaching and training. This includes sending Iraqi sportspeople to these countries, and welcoming sportspeople from regional neighbors to train in Iraq. This was viewed as highly critical when it comes to developing programs in sports where the country has not traditionally been strong, and in supporting athletes from provinces where there has been a loss infrastructure.
One of the key impediments identified for continued improvement for disability sport in Iraq is the loss of infrastructure, lack of assistance in creating regional and national championships, local financial distress impacting stakeholders, and the lack of local disability sporting clubs across all of Iraq’s provinces.