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Sir Philip Craven

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Sir Philip Craven

Sir Philip Craven
Craven at the 2008 Summer Paralympics
2nd President of the International Paralympic Committee
Assumed office
8 December 2001[1]
Preceded by Robert Steadward
Personal details
Born (1950-07-04) 4 July 1950 (age 64) [2]
Bolton England
Nationality British
Residence United Kingdom

Sir Philip Craven, MBE (born 4 July 1950, Bolton, England) is a British sports administrator and former athlete. He is the second and current President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).


Craven attended Bolton School Boys' Division, where he was a keen swimmer, cricketer and tennis player. In 1966, at the age of 16, he fell during a rock-climbing expedition at Wilton Quarries, Bolton; the accident left him without the use of his legs.[3] Craven obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography at University of Manchester in 1972. He speaks fluent English and French, as well as basic German.

Career as an athlete

Craven represented Great Britain in wheelchair basketball at five editions of the Paralympic Games, from 1972 to 1988. He also competed in track and field athletics and swimming at the 1972 Games.

He won gold at the wheelchair basketball World Championships in 1973, and bronze in 1975, as well as two gold medals (1971, 1974) and a silver (1993) at the European Championships. He also won gold at the European Champions Cup in 1994, and gold at the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in 1970.

Career in sports administration

In 1980, alongside Horst Strohkendl and Stan Labanowich, Craven played a vital role in the development of a new classification system for wheelchair basketball athletes. Wheelchair basketball rejected its medically based classification system consisting of 3 classes, a system that was founded upon principles that forced athletes to depend on medical examinations. This progress led to a new 4-class functional system, which was democratically voted in 1982. Due to this, wheelchair basketball was increasingly associated with sport as opposed to medicine and rehabilitation, although both still play an important secondary role.

In 1988, Craven was elected Chairperson of the Wheelchair Basketball Section of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMGF), the first athlete to lead the sport worldwide. Craven's striving for self-determination and self-government pave the way for the establishment of wheelchair basketball as an independent federation, when it gave up its previous identification as a basketball section of the ISMGF to become the independent, self-governing International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) in 1993. At the First IWBF Official World Congress 1994 in Edmonton, Alberta, Philip Craven was elected the first President of IWBF, holding the office until 1998. A productive and more formalized working relationship with FIBA, the worldwide governing body for the sport of basketball, was arranged under Craven's administration, to further legitimize wheelchair basketball itself.

Craven was elected as the second President of the International Paralympic Committee in 2001, a position he continues to hold today.

He was knighted in June 2005.[4]

Major contributions to Paralympic sport

  • President, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) (since 2001)
  • Member, International Olympic Committee (IOC) (since 2003)
  • Member, Executive Board, British Olympic Association (since 2003)
  • Board Member, London 2012 Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (since 2005)
  • Administration Council Member, International Committee for Fair Play (since 2003)
  • Foundation Board Member, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) (since 2002)
  • Board Member, Olympic Truce Foundation (since 2002)
  • Member, IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education (since 2005)
  • Member, IOC 2008 Beijing Co-ordination Commission (since 2002)
  • Member, IOC Sport & Environment Commission (2002–2005)
  • Member, IOC Congress 2009 Commission (since 2006)
  • President, International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) (1998–2002)
  • Chairman, Classification Committee, Basketball Section ISMWSF (1984–1988)
  • Chairman, Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association (1977–1980, 1984–1987, 1989–1994)

Professional career

  • Performance Director, GBWBA Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team (1998–2002)
  • Chief Executive Officer, International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (1994–1998)
  • Company Secretary, British Coal Corporation (1986–1991)


Sir Philip Craven is today an Ambassador for Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization,[5] committed to serving peace in the world through sport.

See also

  • Thomas Bach, current President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)


  • Sir Philip CRAVEN, MBE, official website of the Olympic Movement
  • International Paralympic Committee Official Website
  • IWBF Official Website

External links

  • IPC President`s Blog
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