The 20th Workshop

July 28, 2016
"The Current Situation and Future Challenges for National Paralympic Federations in the United Kingdom and Australia"

Recognizing diversity in areas such as race, gender and political views, and promoting harmony and inclusion in ways that will continue after the Games, are essential for the success of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Australia and the United Kingdom can be cited as outstanding models in the area of disability sports. In Australia, with a history of decentralization, gender and disability inclusion have been promoted in many disability sports organizations including through grass-roots movements. This is reflected in various areas such as fundraising and the integration of organizations, where inclusion has become mainstream. In the more centralized United Kingdom, sports associations offer opportunities for participation in disability sports, understanding of disability sports among the public is increasing, and there is flexibility in dealing with change. As these examples indicate, the following may be considered keys to success in disability sports: governance with consistency and ongoing improvements, connectivity of organizations, sustainability, shared identity, and corporate culture.

In future, there will be a number of ethical issues to address in disability sports. They include the direction grass-roots and Paralympic organizations should take, the use of mechanical elements to enhance human abilities (cyborg elements), and the creation of top athletes through for example genetic programming. Furthermore, there will be an increasing need to engage in serious discussion about assessment criteria for governance management, imbalance among medal-winning countries stemming from economic disparities, and the possibility of the Paralympics becoming superhuman sports events. In considering these issues, advances in science and technology and further developments in education and research will be important.