13 June 2023

IPC announces Manchester, UK as preferred location for World Para Athletics and World Para Swimming governing bodies

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced UK Sport and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) as its preferred partners to assist with the transfer of governance and the creation of independent bodies for the sports of Para athletics and Para swimming.

The announcement follows a thorough process initiated in July 2021 when the IPC called for expressions of interest from organisations in relation to the takeover of the governance of one or both sports in their territories.

The IPC received 12 expressions of interest and, after a comprehensive evaluation, the IPC Governing Board has appointed UK Sport and BPA as preferred partners. The UK bid has proposed the City of Manchester as the location for the two new federations.

The IPC, UK Sport and the BPA will engage in a period of exclusive negotiations until 31 August 2023 with the aim to establish two independent and stand-alone international Para sport federations based in the United Kingdom; with the IPC ceasing to govern these two sports no later than 31 December 2026.

While many aspects are yet to be defined, each sport will have its own legal and governance structure, but with shared operational resources to maximise economies of scale. UK Sport and BPA will support the transition of the two organisations to Manchester, United Kingdom but World Para Athletics and World Para Swimming will be independent bodies with their own governance structures in place.

World Athletics and World Aquatics have welcomed the decision of the IPC Governing Board and look forward to discussions on how they can support both during and after the transfer of governance.

Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “We are extremely grateful and excited to begin exclusive discussions with UK Sport and the BPA regarding the transfer of governance of the sports of Para athletics and Para swimming.

“As part of the IPC’s new constitution which was overwhelmingly approved by IPC members in December 2021, the IPC committed to cease acting as the international federation for the World Para Sports within five years. In 2022, the four Para snow sports transferred to FIS and IBU and now, after a careful process, we believe we are in a strong position to further engage with UK Sport and BPA regarding two further sports.

“Our objective in transferring the governance of the World Para Sports is for them to continue to thrive after becoming independent. We look forward to announcing the next steps in this process in the near future and welcome the support from World Athletics and World Aquatics.”

Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport, said: “UK Sport is delighted that the UK’s proposal has been chosen as the preferred partner by the International Paralympic Committee.

“The establishment of independent and stand-alone international Para sport federations represents an exciting period of transition and development for Para athletics and Para swimming. A new home in Manchester is a huge vote of confidence for the city which is becoming a real hub for Para sport, and we are very pleased that these new federations will be based here in the UK.”

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