IPC members have attended a three-day meeting in Bonn focusing on classification

The future of classification and its development across all Para-sports was debated by almost 100 classification experts from around the world at the 2018 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Classification Meeting.

The three-day event was held in at the IPC headquarters in Bonn in Germany, with 54 representatives from International Federations and 32 from National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), as well as the IPC’s Classification Committee members.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the participants to exchange knowledge and experience on best practices, and to ponder the long-term future of classification.

It also gave International Federations and NPCs the opportunity to discuss the IPC Athlete Classification Code Compliance.

The IPC Classification Committee also met separately to plan the next steps for furthering the development and harmonisation of classification across Para-sports.

Peter Van de Vliet, IPC medical and scientific director said: "The meetings were a great opportunity to bring the leading classification experts from IFs and NPCs together with the IPC Classification Committee."

The IPC Classification Committee has discussed best practices and future developments ©Getty Images
The IPC Classification Committee has discussed best practices and future developments ©Getty Images

Van de Vliet added: "We had the chance to exchange good practices and engage with the relevant stakeholders, especially around key themes such as adhering to the IPC Athlete Classification Code and international standards.

"The outcome of the session will provide us direction and input to the discussion with the IPC members to be held at the IPC Membership Gathering in September in Madrid."

Sharyn Gregory, head of Classification of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) said: "I really enjoy these meetings as it is my only opportunity to connect in person with head of classification from other sports and discuss what they are doing and the same challenges in regards to classification.

"We can all learn from each other and meetings such as this provide the perfect environment for discussing and sharing ideas."

Anna Muldoon, classification manager of the Australian Parlaympic Committee, said: "The classification meetings provided a valuable opportunity for NPCs to engage with the IPC and International Federations, to discuss common directions and opportunities in classification.

"The shared focus on continual improvement in classification systems across these organisations is important to the growth of the Paralympic Movement."