By Nick Butler

Princess Astrid of Belgium arrives for the IPC Honorary Board meeting that she was hosting in BrusselsOctober 8 - Princess Astrid, sister of the Belgum's King Philippe, has claimed the London 2012 Paralympic Games have improved sporting opportunities for all of "our fellow citizens with a physical disability".

The Princess was speaking at a meeting of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Honorary Board she was hosting in Brussels.

London 2012 achieved one of "the foremost Paralympic aims" of boosting the profile of disability sport at all levels, she claimed.

"The London Games certainly gave a tremendous boost to the notion of 'inclusion through sports' for our fellow citizens with a physical disability," she said.

"I believe that this is indeed one of the most important goals of the Paralympic Movement, and I was never more aware of it than when the Belgian Paralympic athletes together with the Olympic athletes were honoured at the Royal Palace by my parents.

"The pride and dignity of the Paralympic athletes who competed in the London Games was a joy to behold and strengthened my resolve to continue to give my full support to the Paralympic Movement."

Sir Philip Craven accompanied by members of the Honorary Board of the IPC at the Palais Royal Hotel in BrusselsSir Philip Craven accompanied by members of the Honorary Board of the IPC at the Palais Royal Hotel in Brussels

The IPC Honorary Board aims to provide leaders of society with opportunities to support the vision of the Paralympic Movement and to "strive to maintain the issue of sport for persons with impairments high on the agenda of the global community."

Members assist the IPC in creating opportunities for raising awareness and by using their invariably substantial networks of contacts and influence.

The latest meeting provided updates on the growth of the movement over the last two years and received further insight into the activities that surrounded London 2012, as well as those for future Games.

This also included details of the IPC's new development arm, the Agitos Foundation.

As well as Princess Astrid, other attendees included a raft of other European royalty, including Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Grand Duchess Maria Terea of Luxembourg.

Also attending was the Paralympic ambassador from Qatar, Hassan Ali Bin Ali.

"It was a very productive afternoon with all members showing significant interest in the growth of the Paralympic Movement," said Sir Philip Craven, President of the IPC.

"Many of the Honorary Board members attended the London 2012 Paralympic Games and were keen to share their memories of the Games."