Craven: I’m the right man to take Paralympic sport forward

International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Craven says he is the right man to steer Paralympic sport forward

With the clock counting down to Sochi 2014, International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Craven has insisted he remains the right man to steer Paralympic sport forward for another four years.

On Sunday in Athens the committee will vote on whether to give the three-time incumbent another term in office, with fellow Brit and committee member Alan Dickson his only challenger.

The 63-year-old has led Paralympic sport since 2001, overseeing an explosion in interest and participation that culminated at London 2012, the biggest Games yet.

Dickson, who is based in Germany, is a former president of the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) and has their backing to stand in the election.

But Bolton-born administrator Sir Philip, who competed for GB in five Games between 1972 and 1988 in wheelchair basketball, is confident he can help the Paralympic movement build on the legacy of London 2012 if given the chance.

“I think our track record so far is pretty good and I think really now we must not lose the momentum of what has been created,” said Sir Philip, who was speaking at an event to commemorate German firm Ottobock’s 25 years as a global partner of the International Paralympic Committee.

“I’ve been there for 12 years and now I’ve got this opportunity to have four more years to really build a bridge between what has gone on in the previous 12 years and what will go on in future terms.

“I’ve got the energy for it, we’re athlete centred, the athletes know what we’re doing for them and we know what they’re doing for us and again that’s a fantastic partnership.

“You have to maintain standards and improve them where you can, maintaining that incredible performance that we had in London which is very, very important.

“My real passion is for athlete development, it’s for getting more countries bringing more athletes to the Games. At London we had 46 nations that came with one athlete – now we’ve got to turn that round.”

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