Sport knows no boundaries,
only spirit, effort and persistence.
President Ratko Kovačić has resigned from the position as EPC President!
The EPC Executive Board is sorry to hear that the President of the EPC, Ratko Kovačić has resigned from the position of President for personal and health reasons and expresses their gratitude for Ratko Kovačić´s services to the EPC and the contribution he has made to promoting the Paralympic Movement in Europe.
- EPC Vice President Terje Jentoft Roel will take over leading the EPC for the rest of the period.
- Appointment of a new EPC Vice-President
The EPC Executive Board has unanimously appointed EPC Executive Board Member Åsa Llinares Norlin as the new EPC Vice-President.
- Postponement of the EPC GA 2021
In its meeting in April, the EPC Executive Board decided to postpone the EPC General Assembly 2021 till a new date after the Paralympic Games in Tokyo and before the IPC General Assembly 2021. In the meeting on 23 November, the EPC Executive Board confirmed this decision. The GA will probably be held in October or early November. a bid process for organizing the GA will start as soon as possible.
Systematic Literature Review on Diverse and Inclusive Teams for Children under 12
ICSSPE took charge of conducting a comprehensive literature review on diversity and inclusion in grassroots sport for children under 12. The collection of evidence-based studies is a resourceful reference for practitioners, coaches, clubs and parents. For the full-text report, please click HERE.
Key takeaways from the literature review:
There seems to be a need for de-emphasising competitive aspects of grassroots sports.
Cooperation, fun-orientated and task-orientated activities are essential elements of inclusive sports programmes.
Coaches must be competent and have a comprehensive understanding of inclusion in order to uphold these values.
Parents role in grassroots sport should be that of support, positivity and the safe-space.
“Diverse and Inclusive Teams for Children under 12”
Newsletter nº2 September 2020
Playing by the ‘Right’ Rules and Inclusion is Possible
Is competition, diversity and inclusion somewhat of a contradiction in the world of sports? What if one changes the rules? Michelle Friedrich, Physical Education teacher-to-be and Ken Black, founder of The Inclusion Club provided answers to these questions for the DITEAM12 project partners and the professional community.
As an example, Michelle Friedrich presented the Easy Play Model, which consists of
“3 characteristics: Optimal competitiveness, play-easy approach, self-regulation. No referees, fair play, no score/recordkeeping, players compete in teams which are continuously rearranged within the group to ensure balanced games” –.
Do you want to learn more about the literature findings and best practice examples? Please click HERE to listen to Michelle elaborating on the question How can competitive sport for children be more educational?
For the sport practice, Ken Black suggests that players can “Manipulate space and use a zonal approach”. This means that players with comparable abilities are placed in one zone within a basketball court, for example. The ball has to pass each zone during the game, so that “everyone has the opportunity to participate”.
Are you curious about learning more? Please find Ken’s Practical Guide To Inclusive Team Sport HERE.
These are findings which the DITEAM12 project group has gathered in addition to a comprehensive literature review. All was presented during a videoconference which took place on 19 August and which was attended by several dozen participants from across the globe.
Meetings with experts are coming!
Experts in inclusion and sports will be participating in DITEAM12 online meetings.
Are you interested in joining?
Visits to the clubs
Depending on the COVID-19 situation, the DITEAM12 partners will be visiting the clubs once they restart their training.
Podcast with Time and Place Consulting: The future of the European Paralympic Movement! Special Guest Ratko Kovačić, President of the EPC
Link to the Podcast: https://www.breaker.audio/ontap/e/72292593
EPYG 2021 postponed to 2022
New dates: 27.6 to 4.7. 2022
28-30.6: Classification and Trainings
Webinar Sports & Disabilities : Getting from Grassroots to Paralympics
Big thanks to EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, German Secretary of State Dr. Markus Kreber, Croatian Deeputy Secretary of State Dr. Kresimir Samija and Glenn Cezanne, T&P Consulting managing director, Monica Semedo (Renew Europe), and young Paralympic athlete Noah Rainer for big contribution and great discussion today !
Time & Place Consulting becomes official partner of the European Paralympic Committee to jointly amplify the voice of the Paralympic Movement amongst the European institutions.
On 15 June 2020, the European Paralympic Committee signed an agreement with Time & Place Consulting to jointly amplify the voice of the Paralympic Movement with the European institutions, including all key bodies such as the European Commission, European Parliament, the Council of the EU, and the European Economic and Social Committee.
A key element of this cooperation will include the improvement of conditions for greater involvement of young people with disabilities in sports.
We find it increasingly pertinent to assure that the interests of the Paralympic Movement remain high on the EU policy agenda. It is no surprise that COVID-19 has had an impact towards shifting policy priorities and relevant political attention. We would like to send out kind reminders of the importance of a sustainable and resilient approach for sports and disabilities. And, that this importance is multi-faceted, which includes healthy living, the role it plays for youth, especially in light of the link between grassroots and Paralympics, and tourism. To this end, we are delighted of being able to extend our engagement with European decision-makers together with Time & Place Consulting.
President, European Paralympic Committee
Several events are already envisaged for 2020 with a first webinar to be confirmed shortly for mid-July. This event will provide a platform for the European Parliament, Commission and Council to jointly evaluate what next steps should be taken at EU level to guarantee a resilient and sustainable Paralympic sector. The title: Sports & Disabilities: Getting from Grassroots to Paralympics (How can the EU improve conditions for greater involvement of young people with disabilities in sports?)
It is an absolute honour to become official partner of the European Paralympic Committee. We are dedicated to promoting the Paralympic Movement as well as its benefits to society. Now marks a key but also opportune moment. We are expecting the publication of the European Commission’s Strategy on Disabilities post-2020 and the most recent European Work Plan for Sport (2017-2020) is soon coming to an end. I look forward to our strong and fruitful cooperation with the EPC.
Managing Director, T&P Consulting
Funding opportunities and one contest for project submission from the European Commission
1. EU call for proposals: Exchanges and mobility in sport (2020)
Deadline of submission: 11 June 2020 (Grant to be allocated: November 2020, Grant agreement to be signed: December 2020)
to be based in the EU and;
cooperate with two other organisations established in different EU Member States (incl. UK) and;
at least one organisation established in one of the following regions: Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership, Asia, Latin America, or Africa.
be non-profit organisations (private or public), public authorities (national, regional, local), international organisations, sport clubs, universities, educational institutions, companies, etc.
Grant: max. 200,000€ (80% of eligible costs actually incurred)
Improving the knowledge and know-how of sport staff;
Developing international cooperation in the field of learning mobility in sport
Regular exchange schemes for sport staff
Establishment of European networks of coaches and sport staff
Project content: To propose actions that promote the mobility of coaches and other staff of sport organisations (including volunteers, excluding athletes), through the following activity examples (non-exhaustive list): Exchanges of coaches; Placements; Periods of trainings/study; Job-shadowing
2. EU call for proposals: Sport as a tool for integration and social inclusion of refugees
Deadline of submission:
01 June 2020 (Grant to be allocated: October 2020, Grant agreement to be signed: November 2020)
be a public or private organisation with legal personality who are mainly active in;
be in the sport field and that regularly organise sport competitions, at any level;
have their registered legal office in one of the EU Member States.
Grant: 200.000€ minimum, 300.000€ maximum (80% co-financing rate)
Eligible for funding are activities scheduled for 2021-2023 and aiming at:
Promoting participation of refugees into EU societies;
Preparation and training of sport coaches and staff who will work in this context;
Development, of activities and identification of good practices in the context above.
3. EU call for submissions: #BeInclusive sport awards
More information: https://ec.europa.eu/sport/be-inclusive_en
Deadline of submission: 30 June 2020
Eligible sport projects must:
aim at social inclusion and are successfully carried out in the Erasmus+ Programme countries
be concluded at the time of submission
10.000€ for three winning projects
€ 2.500€ for additional six preselected projects
Evaluation criteria are:
Relevance of the project (35 points)
Quality of the project (35 points)
Impact of the project (30 points)
More information in the Rules of Contest
We hope this information might be of good use for you and wish you best success in case you decide to apply for this funding opportunity. Do keep us updated, if you are ultimately successful, as we would be happy to share projects and best practices with our members!
Should you have any questions, we encourage you to look at the following resources.
Full Press Release
Update: European Situation COVID-19 in regard to Athletes
EPC President Ratko Kovačić managed to initiate 5 Sub-regional Zoom Videoconferences in the last week. 33 European Country’s took part in these very interesting online conferences.
All European Athletes are healthy and safe. No Athlete is infected and the situation is getting better step by step.
EPC members tackling the future together
“Sport #BezPredgrad” Sport Without Barriers
The EPC wishes a Happy Easter 2020!
Russian NPC launched the project with the symbolic name “Sport #BezPredgrad” (Sport Without Barriers), which allows society to learn more about Russian Paralympic sport, to get acquainted with Paralympic champions and World and European champions and also get additional motivation for physical education and sport.
This project is published on social networks of the Russian Paralympic Committee (@russianparalymp) like VK, Facebook and Instagram, on the RPC website https://paralymp.ru/en/ and consists of three stages #traintogether, “Stronger than circumstances” and “Faster, higher, stronger”. Separately they launched the YouTube channel "Sport # BezPredgrad". Also, all athletes and coaches of the national teams, regional branches of the RPC, as well as the younger generation, are actively involved in this project.
The Project "Sport #BezPredgrad" is supported by TASS News Agency.
It is with a deep sadness that we inform you of an enormous loss to our sporting community. On Thursday 26 March 2020, the former EPC Executive Board member and President of SU-DS, Dr. Geoff Smedley sadly passed away following a battle with Corona Virus.
The Paralympic movement has lost a great man, a man who worked tirelessly his whole life to promote the development of Paralympic sport, especially the sport for athletes with Down Syndrome.
He was a great friend, always full of jokes which made us all laugh. He was a true inspiration!
The European Paralympic Family will never forget you!!
RIP Geoff Smedley!
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have been rescheduled to take place between 24 August and 5 September 2021.
The dates were confirmed on Monday (30 March) by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
This decision was taken under three main considerations:
To protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.
To safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic and Paralympic sport.
The global international sports calendar.
These new dates give health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also minimise any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.
IPC President Andrew Parsons said:
“It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world."
“When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport."
“With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic Movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time."
“Now that the dates are confirmed, the IPC will work with the International Federations to establish new qualification criteria which will fully respect those that have already qualified for the Games.”
Member of Russian Wheelchair Fencing Team Viktoriya Boikova
Russian Para Equestrian rider Natalia Zhavoronkova
Member of Russian Para Athletics Team Alexander Spitsyn
After the first shock it is time to (re)think the future. The European Paralympic Committee members got their heads together this Wednesday and through new series of online workshops were rethinking about collaboration and creativity and how to use communication to tackle donations & sponsorships after isolation and all its consequences.
Representatives from 17 NPC's participated in this first workshop, which gives us strength for future work. Under the guidance of lecturers from BetaSponsorhips, the next two Wednesdays will bring us some interesting workshops on this topic.
Join us too so we can tackle the future together.
See you all this week!
Official Statement COVID-19
Dear European Paralympic friends,
We hope that you are healthy and safe.
The European Paralympic Committee has to inform you that most of the Paralympic sports events in Europe are cancelled or postponed. For more detailed information please check the respective NPC or IF/NF.
The Paralympic Games are still scheduled for 25 August – 6 September 2020. Our EPC office can be reached by telephone and email as usual. Since COVID-19 is especially dangerous for people with chronic diseases, we are especially concerned for our athletes with severe disabilities. We will encourage them to closely follow the rules of the WHO and the respective National Health Services. The IPC will publish every Thursday a weekly update on the situation regarding COVID-19 on www.paralympic.org.
Please, be as safe as possible: wash your hands, stay at home or at least at a distance from other people, check your health status and react appropriately in case of symptoms.
Not only for yourselves, but also think at other people around you.
EPC Executive Board President
IFCPF offers a grant for countries to host a CP Football workshop
We would like to share with you that the applications for a grant for countries to host a CP Football workshop are now open. IFCPF organises CP Football coach education courses in partnership with National Paralympic Committees, Football Federations, Disability Organisations or anyone who leads on CP football in their country. Besides a grant of 2000€ for the host country, IFCPF offers also the flights of two course instructors. The support from IFCPF workshops aims to give an initial introduction to CP Football and equip managers, coaches, classifiers, referees and others involved with the information to develop CP Football in your country.
In March 2020 it is currently planned a workshop hosted by Denmark. IFCPF is interested in developing CP Football in specific European regions, especially in East Europe and South East Europe. Although workshops are hosted in a specific country, they are open for participants from other countries also.
Countries interested to host a workshop or coach education course have to submit the application form attached below, along with the required supporting documentation, to the IFCPF secretariat before November 1st of the year prior to the commencement of the grant’s activities.
120 Athletes from 15 countries took part at the
First Winter Para Sport Opening Ceremony in Poland Czarna Gora, ParaSki4Europe event.
ParaSki4Europe Poland 2020
European Winter Para Sport
ParSki4Europe Poland 2020
European Winter Para Sports Event will be held on 24th February - 2nd March 2020 in Poland. Together we can strengthen sports movement of people with disabilities. Giving the young and also adults an opportunity to participate in such an event, showing sport can influence their life, can develop their minds, can make them believe nothing is impossible we provide everybody the idea change start with sport.
For the first time, the Paralympic sport program will be co-funded by the Erasmus+sport . We cannot waste this opportunity. We hope you will be able to join us.
There will also be accompanying activities, motivating meetings with Paralympians.
The EPC wishes a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020 !
Information European Universities Games Belgrade
We would like to share with you that registrations for the European Universities Games Belgrade 2020 are now open. We are happy to inform you that from the 21 sports in the programme, Para Judo and Para Table Tennis are also included. Official dates are as follows: Para Judo between July 17-19; Para Table Tennis between July 12-16.
EUSA is proud of the recent participation of para student athletes in EUSA competitions, such as Table Tennis and Swimming at the European Universities Games Zagreb-Rijeka 2016, and again Table Tennis at the European Universities Games Coimbra 2018. Despite this, EUSA wishes that more para student’s athletes could participate with our support.
Progress of the European Universities Games Belgrade 2020 is going extremely well, and we are confident it will be the best edition of the event. The local organising committees are both experienced and focused on providing the best possible event experience for all participants, including those competing in the para competitions
EPC President Ratko Kovačić congratulates the Paralympic Committee of Montenegro on their 10th anniversary celebrations
’Mr. Kovačić handed Mr. Tomic a plaque from the European Paralympic Committee.
The President of the Paralympic Committee of Montenegro, Igor Tomic said that he is proud of Montenegrin Paralympics, its athletes and their achievements in the 10 years since it was first recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
On 22nd of November 2009 at the General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur, NPC Montenegro became a full-fledged member of the IPC.
At the 10-year anniversary celebration Tomic said that the road was not easy, it was full of challenges and sometimes thorny.
‘People say that the happiness is bigger, and sadness smaller when you share it with someone. We are proud that you are here to share in our joy at this 10-year anniversary since NPC Montenegro was first recognized by the IPC. The road was not easy, it was full of challenges and sometimes thorny but at the same time it was motivating. We would not have reached this point without the state’s support, which we notice today because of the Ministry of Sports and Youth and Minister Nikola Janovic.’
He also said that he could never forget the help of Mr. Ratko Kovacic, the president of the European Paralympic Committee.
‘I am glad that he is here today with our athletes’, Tomic said.
He recognized the help of the Montenegro Olympic Committee and the first sponsor Electric Transmission System of Montenegro.
Tomic greeted the presidents of neighboring NPCs, institutes for people with disabilities and the mayors of the hometowns of our athletes.
„I am proud of the Paralympic phenomenon in the whole of Montenegro. I must thank parents of our athletes for trusting us. Together we fought battles and enjoyed in your and our victories. Our coaches are big names in the world sports scene, who have made a great impression on our children and taught them so much. Be proud of everything you did.
He noted that the Paralympians made the movement what it is by working , patiently and with wisdom
‘Live your dreams and take care of our movement. Take care of it because of all the children who are dreaming about living their dreams right now. also It also is a beautiful story for our country and not only from a sports perspective but also in its humanity and solidarity, both of which are traditions in Montenegro. This is only the first 10 years; we are going forward.’
As a sign of appreciation for supporting NPC Montenegro, he handed the Minister of Sports and Youth, Mr. Nikola Janovic, a plaque.
‘I do not see this plaque as a recognition of the institution I represent, I see it as a confirmation of a partnership between NPC Montenegro and the Ministry of Sports and Youth. I am very pleased that I have the chance to give a speech on this great anniversary. I can say that the financial support today is 10 times bigger than it was when the NPC was formed,’ said Janovic.
He stressed that the will, perseverance and persistence of the Montenegran Paralympians should be an example to everybody.
‘The results they achieve are to their merit, which belong to them, their families, their coaches and the NPC, and the state is proud of them,’ said Janovic.
The first man of the European Paralympic Committee, Mr. Ratko Kovacic also received an award.
He said that this celebration is the result of hard work and that sports is the best tool against all kinds of addictions.
‘I congratulate all those athletes who have achieved great results over the past 10 years. You have only recently entered the European and global sports scene and you are already winning medals. I hope you will all win a Paralympic medal and I know that this is going to happen soon. Thank you for the plaque. I want to stress the great contribution of parents who have such a big role in the development of an athlete, as well as the coaches and assistants whose work allows young people with disabilities to be athletes,’ said Kovacic.
He said that Montenegro is proud of its Paralympians and that they should be given all the support they need.
‘Let mecongratulate you on your amazing work and success, contribution and friendship. I wish you all the best in the future.’ Mr. Kovacic handed a plaque to Mr. Tomic from the European Paralympic Committee.
The documentary ‘Living our dreams’ was shown for the first time at the event. The movie tells the story of NPC Montenegro’s beginningsand its first 10 years.
Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships
Dubai World Para Athletics Championships are held from 7-15th of November 2019. Check out the great results of European Countries: Ukraine; Great Britain; Russia; Germany; Finland; Poland; Netherlands; Italy; Bulgaria; Latvia; Switzerland; Belgium; France; Hungary; Czech Republic; Ireland; Serbia; Norway; Spain; Greece; Croatia; Denmark; Luxembourg; Portugal; Turkey and Azerbaijan, by clicking on this link: https://www.paralympic.org/dubai-2019/schedule/info-live-results/atdu19/eng/zz/engzz_athletics-medal-count.htm
InSport Project - 1st Multiplier Event 2019 -
September 25, Portugal, Lisbon
European Para Youth Games 2019 Lahti, Finland
Finland’s midnight sun finally set on Sunday night as the European Para Youth Games 2019 came to an end, following 3 closely fought competition days across 8 sports, with Italy topping the medal table with 14 Gold, 8 Silver and 8 Bronze medals.
The event, hosted at the Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training center from the 25-30th June, was the fifth and largest edition of the Games to date with over 600 participants from 27 countries taking part. The games were loved by athletes and spectators alike and were filled with fantastic highlights, including a World Record in the W20 F64 and ended with EPC President Ratko Kovacic declaring at the closing ceremony that EPYG 2019 was ‘the best games ever’ hosted.
Overseen by the European Paralympic Committee, the European Paralympic Youth Games are seen as an introductory international event for many aspiring para athletes, with the combination of new and rising stars in the Paralympic movement leading to an exciting competition for athletes and spectators alike. Conceived in 2011, the Games are part of the Committee’s aim to develop the Paralympic Movement by creating a platform to inspire young European athletes aged 13-23 to take part in Paralympic Sport and begin their Paralympic journey.
The 2019 edition of the Games included eight sports consisting of athletics, boccia, goalball, judo, showdown (demonstration sport), swimming, table tennis and wheelchair basketball.
The Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, Finland’s only Olympic AND Paralympic Training Center, is famous for its elite athlete training facilities and conveniently located accommodation services, all surrounded by beautiful Finnish nature and located on the shores of a fresh water lake. During EPYG 2019 the Training Center was transformed into an Athletes Village and utilised all of Pajulahti’s facilities as Training/Competition venues, with Swimming and Athletics taking place at external venues.
Whilst teams arrived on Monday 24th June to begin their training and acclimatisation, EPYG 2019 was officially opened on Thursday evening following an opening ceremony full of passion, pride and perseverance. As the participating countries processed into the main Pajulahti Hall the atmosphere was electric as many countries became more and more excited singing songs and waving national flags. The host nation sought to utilise the opening ceremony to highlight and celebrate the success of Finnish disabled people and inspire event participants with performances from former World Champions and European medallists Para-Dance couple TimoPyykkönen and Tuuli Harju.
The opening ceremony drew attention to the fact the host venue, the Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center was celebrating its 90th anniversary since its founding in 1929 as a women’s gymnastics facility.
The spirit of the games was best summed up by NPC Finland Secretary General TeroKuorikoski, who concluded his speech to the event participants with: ‘Dare to achieve the impossible; aspire to be the best you can be; and ultimately make sure you have fun along the way’.
The following morning, the Games kicked off with 7 out of 8 sports beginning their competition. The strongest performers in the Games unsurprisingly came from the largest delegations of Italy, France and Germany with 14, 12 and 11 Gold medals respectively. Host nation Finland came a respectable 4th in the medal table with a total of 18 medals. The 3 best countries in ranking were Italy, France and Germany: