By Tom Degun

Sir Philip CravenApril 7 - Britain's Sir Philip Craven is set to be re-elected as President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for a fourth and final term in Greece after the organisation revealed they will host their 2013 General Assembly and Conference in Athens in November.

The meeting is due to take place at the Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel with the IPC Conference to take place on November 22 before the General Assembly is held on November 23 and 24.

The final day of the General Assembly in Athens, which hosted the 2004 Paralympic Games, will see elections take place for IPC President, IPC vice-president and the ten places on the IPC Governing Board.

Sir Philip first came to office in 2001 when he succeeded the inaugural President of the organisation, Canada's Robert Steadward.

The Paralympic Movement has experience huge growth under the 62-year-old from Bolton, notably with the London 2012 Games last year which Sir Philip declared "the best Paralympic Games ever" at the Closing Ceremony.

Sir Philip made clear his intention to stand for re-election for a fourth and final four-year term back in 2011.

"As things stand, I am planning to stand for re-election when my current term is over," Sir Philip told insidethegames when asked about standing for a fourth term.

"I am firing on all cylinders at the moment and I will put myself forward to be re-elected to the position.

"If someone decides to stand against me in 2013 and beats me, then that is a decision for our members and I would fully respect that.

"But I am really enjoying my work and the moment.

"It is a privilege to be in the position I am in and I love being a part of the Paralympic Movement and serving it in the best way that I possibly can."
Athenaeum Intercontinental HotelThe 2013 IPC General Assembly and Conference will take place in November at the Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel

The position of IPC President carries with it membership to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership, making Sir Philip one of Britain's four current members, along with former British Olympic Association Sir Craig Reedie, IOC Athletes' Commission member Adam Pengilly and the Princess Royal.

Sir Philip represented Britain in wheelchair basketball at five editions of the Paralympic Games between 1972 and 1988.

It is unlikely that anyone will stand against Sir Philip, although a potential contender would be Australia's Greg Hartung.

Hartung is the current IPC vice-president and the President of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC).

But at present, it appears more likely that Hartung will stand for re-election as vice-president than against Sir Philip for the most powerful position in the Paralympic Movement.

All of the IPC Governing Board positions will also be up for grabs as the IPC membership elects 10 members at large.

At present, the ten IPC Governing Board members are Malaysia's Dato' Zainal Abu Zarin, Argentina's Jose Luis Campo, America's Ann Cody, Britain's Alan Dickson, Tunisia's Ali Harzallah, Korea's Hyang-Sook Jang, Canada's Patrick Jarvis, Brazil's Andrew Parsons, Spain's Miguel Sagarra and  Rita van Driel of the Netherlands.

They currently sit on the Board alongside Sir Philip, Hartung, IPC athlete representative Robert Balk of America, co-opted IPC Board member Bernard Bourigeaud of France and IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez of Spain.

But Balk, Bourigeaud and Gonzalez do not have voting rights.

At present, it is likely that all ten IPC Governing Board members will seek re-election to their positions in Athens.
Greg Hartung 2Australia’s Greg Hartung is a potential contender for IPC President but is more likely to stand for re-election as vice-president at present

"We're very excited and looking forward to heading back to Athens for this year's General Assembly," said Gonzalez.

"The venue will be familiar for many as it acted as the Paralympic family hotel during the 2004 Paralympic Games.

"This year's event has extra significance due to the Governing Board elections and we will be communicating the nominations process to all members in due course."

Over 300 attendees are expected at the event and all National Paralympic Committees, International Federations, Regional Organisations, International Organisations of Sport for the Disabled and other people connected to the Movement will be invited to attend.

The Paralympic Sport and Media Awards, in conjunction with Allianz, will also take place in Athens to coincide with the IPC General Assembly and Conference.

This year's awards will recognise and honour the performances of athletes, teams, officials and the media from London 2012.

The General Assembly is the supreme authority of the IPC which meets every two years.

It last met in December 2011 in Beijing, whilst the last elections took place in 2009 in Kuala Lumpur.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
August 2011: Exclusive - I am planning to stand for re-election in 2013 reveals IPC President Sir Philip Craven