The International Paralympic Committee is planning to relinquish its reign over the 10 Paralympic sports, which includes para-swimming.
At the 2019 IPC General Assembly in Bonn, Germany last weekend, the organization introduced nine “key principles” that are all proposed changes to the organization. By far the most notable is the proposed “managed exit process” for the 10 sports. The principles were part of a report put forth after 18 months of consultation with “IPC members, athletes and key stakeholders, as well as development work by the IPC Governance Review working group.”
The IPC provided an “aspirational” date by which to implement the governance changes. For summer sports (like swimming), that date will be the end of 2028, and for winter sports, the end of 2030.
“This role, and the structure created to operationalise it, has created perceptions of conflict of interest, disparity in the application of resources, a sense of unfairness between the IPC Sports and those which are not and confusion about the IPC’s role, all of which is impacting its reputation,” the report reads.
Individual IPC sports will have their own target dates to leave the IPC. Each IPC sport can either become a stadalone federation, join an existing able-bodied federation (like FINA for swimming), or potentially, form a smaller multi-sport organization.
The IPC also proposed that the smaller multi-sport organization could be the World Para Swimming Unit, which would be a group that operates under an independent board and staff. That board would be responsible for “developing each sport’s leaving plan, strategy, operational plans, budgets, competition calendar, qualification etc.,” according to the report
The IPC will now give members 12 months to offer feedback, and an Extraordinary General Assembly will take place in December 2020. If the members approve, the proposed changes will be rolled out through various means.