On behalf of the World Intellectual Impairment Sport organisation, we would like to wish all supporters a very happy festive period and our best wishes for the year ahead.
World Intellectual Impairment Sport is very proud of its achievements and looking ahead, 2016 promises to be a particularly special year because not only is it Paralympic Games year, but World Intellectual Impairment Sport will also celebrate 30 years since the founding of the organisation back in 1986.
The organisation has come a long way since then – sometimes overcoming very difficult circumstances – but always supporting and encouraging athletes with an intellectual disability from across the world to be their best in sport.
2015 was no different. As the world governing body for sport for athletes with an intellectual disability, World Intellectual Impairment Sport organised events including:
- European Indoor Athletics Championships (Russia)
- World Skiing Championships (Sweden)
- World Indoor Rowing Championships (Italy)
- 2nd International Rowing Regatta (Italy)
- World Half Marathon Championships (Portugal)
- European Cross Country Championships (Great Britain)
- International Cricket Series (Australia)
And the competition calendar culminated in the 4th World Intellectual Impairment Sport GLOBAL GAMES (Ecuador) which, despite the difficulties we encountered, saw some incredible performances from the more than 600 athletes and 33 nations who participated.
World Intellectual Impairment Sport also continued to work towards our strategic aims: growing the staff team with the recruitment of a Sports Manager, delivering eligibility education workshops in Russia and Macau, establishing sports committees in athletics, swimming, football, tennis and basketball, launching the World Intellectual Impairment Sport Sports Management System (a web based platform to manage event entry) and announced Paralympian Jessica-Jane Applegate (GBR), 3-times Olympian Andy Turner (GBR) and former NBL player Leon Trimmingham (USA) as the organisations first Ambassadors.
Fundraising continues to be our biggest challenge, but we were delighted to work with key supporters including Morrison Insurance Solutions, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, WGT Travel, The Baily Thomas Charitable Trust, Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust & The Disability Sports Development Trust. We also welcomed Kevin Elliott, Steve Kitchman and Antony Davies who became the first three members to a new Fundraising Advisory Board. In addition we recently heard we have won a grant as part of the Starbuck’s #RedCupCheer Campaign and are delighted to hear also that we have been chosen as JCI Sheffield’s Charity of the Year for 2016.
And in 2015 we celebrated the very best of sport for athletes with an intellectual disability at the 1st World Intellectual Impairment Sport Awards where athletes and volunteers were recognised for their outstanding achievements and World Intellectual Impairment Sport welcomed its first 3 members to the new World Intellectual Impairment Sport Hall of Fame.
Today World Intellectual Impairment Sport supports 78 nations worldwide representing more than 130,000 athletes.
Looking ahead to 2016, World Intellectual Impairment Sport will launch new regional competitions in Asia and in Africa as well as organising more than 14 world and continental championships and of course the Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. And we hope that you will join us as we celebrate 30 years of World Intellectual Impairment Sport in April at a very special event being held in New York (details of the event will be available early in 2016).
We very much hope that you will continue to support us as we strive to reach more athletes, in more nations and in more sports.
As the festive period approaches, from everyone at World Intellectual Impairment Sport, thank you for supporting us in 2015, and our very best wishes for the year ahead.