Craven elected President of IPCSubscribe
Rob Burgess 10 December 2001
BRITAIN’S PHILIP Craven, MBE, was elected President of the International Paralympic Committee at the 9th IPC General Assembly in Athens on Saturday. Craven, who is supported by UK Sport's International Representatives' Programme, succeeds the Canadian Dr Bob Steadward, who has overseen the Paralympic movement since the IPC’s inception in 1989.
Craven, a former wheelchair basketball player and swimmer, beat two European rivals and one Australian for the position. "The election was a bit like a big basketball game," he said afterwards. "I was a bit uncertain at the beginning but I must have slam-dunked a few towards the end."
The voting in Athens took place over three rounds. Australian Bob McCullough was the first to be eliminated with Hans Lindstrom of Sweden dropping out after round two. In the third round Craven polled 59 votes to the 39 registered by France’s Francois Terranova who was subsequently elected to the Executive Board as Vice-President for Games Operations.
"I think my twelve years as President of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation have made me a good listener and I think that counted in my favour today", added Craven. "I see huge opportunities ahead for the IPC from the top to the bottom of the pyramid."
BRITISH DELEGATES at the conference were equally delighted. "This is great news," said Philip Lane, the British Paralympic Association’s General Secretary. "There is a feeling at home that British influence in international sport is waning, so having a Briton at the top of our international organisation is a huge step forward."
Craven is supported by UK Sport’s International Representatives' Grant Aid Programme which offers financial assistance to elected British post-holders and governing body delegates, currently supporting more than four hundred UK representatives. John Scott, Director of UK Sport’s International Relations’ Directorate, welcomed the news: "Phil is an outstanding representative for British sport and has shown great commitment and dedication to his international work. UK Sport is delighted to have been able to support him in achieving such an important position."
The appointment of Craven follows the election of compatriot Dr Bob Price as President of the European Paralympic Committee earlier this year.