Members of the Chinese National Paralympic Committee (NPC) have met with Sport Inclusion Australia and the 2019 Global Games Sports Company to discuss the development of sport for athletes with an intellectual impairment in the Asian country.
Sport Inclusion Australia and Global Games Sports Company Chief Executive, Ms. Robyn Smith, and General Manager of the Global Games Sports Company, Mr. Greg Dunk, welcomed NPC Vice President Mr. Jia Yong, Deputy Secretary General Mr. Zhijun Yong and Chief Officer for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Wang Bo to Brisbane, Australia, on Monday (7 August).
Smith has been working with China through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its Asian Sport Partnership programme to develop opportunities for athletes with an intellectual impairment.
As Vice President of the International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport), Smith has also been working to assist the country with a new eligibility process. When completed it will open the door for Chinese athletes to compete at World Intellectual Impairment Sport events and on the Paralympic stage.
“The opportunity to meet with the Chinese National Paralympic Committee delegation face to face is so important, it provided an opportunity to demonstrate the work that we have been doing and to obtain feedback directly from the delegates. Establishing personal relationships is also extremely important as we move forward,” Smith said.
“The delegation were impressed with the presentation, our commitment to people with an intellectual impairment and in particular our efforts to be inclusive of Chinese people. The delegation also confirmed they have a large number of athletes with an intellectual impairment participating in sport, many of whom will be ready to compete in the World Intellectual Impairment Sport pathway once the eligibility process has been developed in China.”
China do not currently have any athletes registered with World Intellectual Impairment Sport and had no athletes with an intellectual impairment compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The country dominated the medal tally in Rio with a staggering 239 medals and now have their sights set on the additional 54 medals on offer in swimming, table tennis and athletics.
“Having the Chinese delegation in Brisbane and having the opportunity to discuss World Intellectual Impairment Sport, World Intellectual Impairment Sport eligibility, classification, Oceania/Asia relations, the 2019 Global Games and the Australia/China relationship with him [Jia Young] and obtain his commitment to our movement was so invaluable,” Smith concluded.
The 2019 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games will take place in Brisbane from 9-21 October and feature hundreds of athletes competing in nine sports. As another part of its legacy in China, Kelly Bowen, who plays for the Australian women’s basketball 3×3 team, gave training to students and teachers at the Yuanping Special School in Shenzhen in May 2017.
World Intellectual Impairment Sport represents more than 300,000 athletes with intellectual impairments around the world. We give elite athletes the chance to compete at an international and on the Paralympic stage. But we cannot continue our work towards the inclusion of the world’s biggest impairment group in society without your support.
We are a registered charity and your help can make a big difference.