London [UK], November 25 (ANI): The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) have signed a new co-operation agreement to strengthen para-sport at the Commonwealth Games.
As a major global multi-sport event that first featured para-athletes at the 1994 edition, the Commonwealth Games has continued striving for further inclusion. The latest edition at Gold Coast 2018 set a Games record of 300 Para athletes across 38 medal events in seven sports.
Now, the new partnership between the IPC and the CGF allows both organisations to work closely together to better develop the Games' Para-sport programme. As part of the agreement, every edition following Birmingham 2022 in England; will only feature the sports whose international federations are recognised by the IPC.
The agreement also enables the two entities to co-operate in strategic areas, including branding, campaigns, classification, and development programmes. Further collaboration in non-sporting events, such as advancing the Sustainable Development Goals and advocating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, will be explored.
"We are excited to enter a new partnership with the CGF and help achieve each other's goals through our common vehicle -- sport. Change starts with sport, and para-sport has a tremendous ability to change attitudes towards disability and drive social inclusion. We have witnessed this at the Paralympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, and at Para sport development camps around the world. Our success has increased our desire to do more," IPC President Andrew Parsons said in an official release.
"The Commonwealth Games are a highly regarded event that showcase the transformational power of sport. The IPC looks forward to working closely with the CGF to achieve inclusivity, and support their Movement toward peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities," he added.
While Victoria 1994 was the first Games to feature Para athletes, Manchester 2002 saw Para athletes as full members of their national teams with their results included in the medal count. The first Para sports contested there were athletics, lawn bowls, table tennis, swimming, and weightlifting.
The most recent edition at Gold Coast 2018 saw an increase of 45 per cent more athletes and 73 per cent more medals compared to Glasgow in 2014.
Next up, Birmingham 2022 will set a new record with eight Para sports and is expected to surpass Gold Coast 2018 in terms of the number of athletes. (ANI)