The Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability (ASAPD) has welcomed the historic announcement overnight by the International Olympic Committee that Brisbane, South East Queensland has been awarded the hosting rights of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
ASAPD Chair Robyn Smith said “Many of us were there to witness the powerful impact of the landmark Sydney 2000 Paralympics and the legacy opportunities for people with a disability in sport which continue to this day.
“The event captured the attention and admiration of the Australian public and inspired a generation of people to get involved with sport for people with a disability and helped to change perceptions about what people with disability, impairment or limitation can achieve. It also set new standards in areas such as ticketing, sponsorship, media and transport.
“An 11-year runway into the Brisbane 2032 Paralympic Games provides a great opportunity to showcase sport for people with a disability and help set new standards for inclusion, accessibility and equality,” she said.
The Alliance congratulates all of the parties involved who have worked so hard to put forward such a strong, and ultimately successful, bid to the IOC. We look forward to working with Paralympics Australia, Australian Olympic Committee, Federal Government, Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council and the other local governments in South East Queensland, in helping to achieve positive outcomes for people with a disability in the lead-up to the Games and in the post-Games legacy activities.
ASAPD Deputy Chair Phil Harper said “We believe participation in sport provides positive social and physical benefits to people with a disability, and plays an important role in changing community perceptions, stereotypes and biases around disability.
“The Paralympics and other major disability sporting events can leave a tremendous sporting legacy. But what makes them unique is these events can have positive social and participatory outcomes directly for those with a disability, as well as on broader community perceptions. We look forward to working with the Games partners to make this legacy effective and lasting.”
Since 2019, the nine members of the ASAPD have been collectively creating opportunities in sport and physical activity for people with a disability. This announcement will provide excitement and impetus for our organisations and members to continue our work to create greater awareness among people with a disability to participate in sport and physical activity; and influence governments and Australian sporting organisations to better provide for access and participation in their sport so they are welcoming and inclusive environments for all.
NOTE: The ASAPD represents nine national disability sport organisation’s (NSOD’s) as the key peak agency for sport and physical activity for people with a disability. The NSOD’s involved represent lead organisations whose participant numbers, members and volunteers involve millions of people across Australia and include: Blind Sports Australia, Deaf Sports Australia, Disability Sports Australia, Disabled Wintersports Australia, Paralympics Australia, Riding for the Disabled Association Australia, Special Olympics Australia, Sport Inclusion Australia & Transplant Australia.