APSO membership grows with acceptance of three new members

The Association of Paralympic Sports Organisations (APSO) welcomed three new members at its General Assembly held in Berlin (GER), taking the organisation’s membership to 20.

The International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) and the International Biathlon Union (IBU) were unanimously voted in as full members, and World Sailing (WS) as an affiliate member at the November meeting which saw a total of 22 delegates attend the meeting. The APSO General Assembly was also attended by all Para Sports which are currently in the process of transferring governance away from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to independent bodies.  

“We are very pleased to welcome these new members to the APSO family,” President of the organisation Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“It is important that the APSO member Federations work closely together to ensure the continued growth and development of Para Sport but also to support and advocate social inclusion for our athletes. It’s only by coming together through a common vision that we can strengthen the movement, and better serve the needs of para athletes worldwide.”

APSO Vice President and Secretary General of World Archery Tom Dielen chaired the General Assembly which saw members discuss and approve amendments to the Statutes and the appointment of an independent auditor. The IPC Classification Code Review, Para Sport Partnership Programme, IPC Grants Application Process, application processes for the Milano/Cortina 2026 and LA2028 Sports Programmes, and safeguarding issues were also discussed during the meeting.

Honorary Secretary General of APSO Sergey Lyzhin provided a comprehensive report on the organisation’s accounts and finances and also confirmed the continuation of the Women in Sport Leadership Courses for 2023. The courses, which were launched in 2022, support the development and active participation of women in decision-making within para sport organisations worldwide.

In 2022, there were 40 hand-picked participants from 19 countries who took part in the programmes and included executives, former Paralympians, as well as committee and board members from Summer and Winter Paralympic sports federations. 

APSO was created in 2017 in Abu-Dhabi (UAE) to represent the interests of para sport federations within the Paralympic movement, following the decision of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) General Assembly in Mexico City (MEX) in 2015.

This umbrella association was formed following the rapid development of Paralympic sports that had been integrated within the relevant International Federation and/or sports organisation, and that were independent from the IPC’s governance structures.