New Asian Paralympic Committee Board elected in Riyadh

The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) Conference and General Assembly took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where around 150 delegates from 39 member countries gathered to set out plans and initiatives for the Paralympic Movement in the region over the next four years. 

The two-day conference was followed by the APC General Assembly and elections, where delegates elected the APC Board of Executives for the 2023-2027 term.

The APC conference, opened by APC President Majid Rashed, featured several themes that highlighted the vision and mission of the APC. The keynote address was delivered by His Highness Prince Fahad bin Jalawi Alsaud, Vice President of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, who welcomed everyone to Riyadh.

In his opening remarks, President Majid Rashed thanked the hosts, NPC Saudi Arabia, and said: "We have very important business to do over the next four days and you have provided us with the best possible environment for us to do so. Coming on the heels of the spectacular Hangzhou Asian Para Games, which raised the bar for the Asian Para Games, this Conference and General Assembly will also set a new standard." 

Riyadh hosted the Asian Paralympic Committee Conference and General Assembly. APC
Riyadh hosted the Asian Paralympic Committee Conference and General Assembly. APC

"And it is important that we continue to move forward. In Hangzhou, we saw the enhancements on and off the field of play and we know that our region is improving its performance at the Paralympic Games. We have heard about the progress we have made on the APC Strategic Plan and how we are also benchmarking and measuring our achievements. It is vital that we keep on raising the bar and do all we can to support our athletes," he added.

The event was attended by Michael Peters, CEO of the International Paralympic Committee, and representatives from several international federations including the Wheelchair Basketball Federation, World Taekwondo, World Ability Sport, World Wheelchair Rugby, the International Canoe Federation and the International Federation of Blind Sports.

The APC Strategic Plan was reviewed on the opening day of the Conference and the progress of the NPCs at the Regional and Paralympic Games was also highlighted by the Games and Sport Development Committee. Attendees also had the opportunity to hear the success stories of the National Paralympic Committees of Bangladesh, the Maldives and Uzbekistan - the hosters of the next Asian Youth Para Games. 

NPC Saudi Arabia's Abdulraheem Alshiekh (right), elected one of the vice presidents. APC
NPC Saudi Arabia's Abdulraheem Alshiekh (right), elected one of the vice presidents. APC

The organisers of previous Games, including the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games and the Bahrain 2021 Asian Youth Para Games, also shared the legacy of these Games and the positive changes the have has brought to their countries.

The second day of the Conference included several facilitated workshops to support the development of the APC's next strategic plan as well as presentations on opportunities in Asia from World Para Ice Hockey, Union Cycliste Internationale, World Wheelchair Rugby and the World Amputee Football Federation.

Following the two-day Conference, the General Assembly met and approved the financial reports and budget. They also voted to increase the number of Vice Presidents from two to four and to create two additional Member at Large positions on the Executive Board. These changes will take effect at the next Executive Board election in 2027.

The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games Organising Committee presented a post-Games report to the Assembly, while future Games organisers, including the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, the Tashkent 2025 Asian Youth Para Games and the Aichi-Nagoya 2026 Asian Para Games, presented reports on their readiness to host the upcoming Games.

The new Committee Board

The Asian Paralympic Committee's General Assembly has elected the new Executive Board to serve until 2027. President Majid Rashed stood unopposed and was elected for a third term.

Jai-Jun Chong who is also an IPC Governing Board member from the Republic of Korea was elected as Vice President alongside Adbulraheem Alshiekh from Saudi Arabia who served a term as Member at Large.

The new Asian Paralympic Committee Executive Board. APC
The new Asian Paralympic Committee Executive Board. APC

Mu Ming-Chu from Chinese Taipei was elected as the Chair of the Women in Sport Committee and Naoe Yasuoka (Japan) and Shaikh Mohamed Bin Duaij Al Khalifa (Bahrain) were elected to the final two Member at Large positions.

Earlier in the week, the Athletes' Committee, elected at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games, met and elected Japanese wheelchair rugby player Hiroyuki Misaka as their new Chairman.

Addressing the General Assembly following the elections, President Rashed thanked the outgoing Board for their hard work and stated that they had set a high standard. He congratulated the new Board and said that he looked forward to working with them and he was sure that they would continue to raise the standards of the Asian Paralympic Committee.