EMBARGO: FOR RELEASE Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Interview Contact (in French, English): Herve Delattre, FIFPA President
Mobile telephone: +33 608 775 059 President@fipfa.org/fr
Contact for Technical Questions (in English, French): Ms. Terrie Moore, FIPFA Secretariat. Mobile telephone: +1 604 307 0675 International@fipfa.org/fr
Paris, France and Bonn, Germany: Friday 6 November 2009 In a letter Thursday to Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Fédération Internationale de Powerchair Football Association (FIPFA) asked for recognition of powerchair football (known as power soccer in the United States) as a sport for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
In accordance with IPC procedures, FIPFA consequently also seeks to become a member of the highly respected International Paralympic Committee as an independent federation governing powerchair football, a team sport widely played both competitively and for recreation by severely disabled athletes in 20 countries.
Speaking in Paris, France, where FIPFA has its official headquarters, the FIPFA President, Hervé Delattre stated that his letter to Sir Philip was sent after careful consideration in the governing bodies of FIPFA, which is as yet a relatively new structure for many in the sports world. Hervé Delattre has been involved as a volunteer since the idea of playing football in electric wheelchairs was born, thirty years ago.
He went on to say that for the 3500 players, coaches, referees, classifiers and volunteers involved in powerchair football the time seems to be truly right for this way of playing “the beautiful game” to be seen as an essential aspect of the future growth of sports opportunity for the disabled. “We look forward to the IPC’s favourable acceptance of our submission” he concluded.
The Olympic and Paralympic Games are the pinnacle of an athlete’s career. The Rio de Janeiro 2016 organizers have said they will strive to provide conditions to enable athletes to compete at the highest level in an environment of excellence, friendship and enjoyment. Who gets to go is strictly controlled.
With only two weeks to go to the decisive IPC conference in Kuala Lumpur, powerchair footballers and national teams, as well as FIPFA officials are now anxiously waiting to see if they will have the chance to play in the paralympic arena, as of Rio 2016. The fast moving video available on line of their World Cup of Nations in Tokyo, Japan in 2007 shows that, whatever is decided, for sure this popular, dynamic and exciting team sport will reach a wide and appreciative audience in the next few years.
(FIPFA Communications Commission)