Sir Philip Craven MBE has been awarded the Arthur Bell Trophy for the tremendous leadership he has shown in raising the profile and opportunities surrounding Para sport, both at a Paralympic and grassroots level. He has been the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the global governing body of Paralympic sport since 2001 and he oversaw his eighth Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.
The Paralympic Games are the pinnacle of the career of athletes and motivate others to participate or engage in Paralympic sports. Paralympic sport has enjoyed significant growth under Sir Philip’s time as IPC President and now boasts over 200 members, including 174 national Paralympic Committees across the globe. The Paralympic games have developed rapidly and following London 2012 they are now the third biggest sporting event in the world behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup. London broke all records with more than 4,250 athletes from 164 countries taking part in 20 sports and a record 2.7 million tickets were sold to spectators. This legacy is creating opportunities for future generations so all people with an impairment from beginner to elite can experience the power of Para sport.
Sir Philip is a five-time Paralympian having made his debut in 1972 competing in two sports – swimming and wheelchair basketball. He went on to represent Great Britain at wheelchair basketball at a further four Paralympic Games between 1976 and 1988. During his international wheelchair basketball career, he won the 1973 world title and two European titles in 1971 and 1974. He became President of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation having previously held roles at national and international level with the sport before joining the IPC.
He was awarded an MBE in 1991 in recognition of his services to wheelchair basketball and in 2005 was knighted for his services to Paralympic sport. He has also received numerous honorary doctorates and in 2012 was presented with the Sport Industry Awards Lifetime Achievement award and named Sports Innovator of the Year by SportsBusiness International
“I am genuinely pleased that you have awarded me the Arthur Bell Trophy for 2017. This is something that has touched my heart. The coming together of sport and recreation is for me the epicentre of where the emphasis on sport should be, going forward. The tens of millions of people who practice.