Paralympian Cody has the right credentials for IPC vice-president role, says US Paralympics

Paralympian Cody has the right credentials for IPC vice-president role, says US Paralympics

By Gary Anderson

September 18 – American former wheelchair Paralympian Ann Cody is the perfect candidate to become the next International Paralympic Committee (IPC) vice-president due to her athletic achievements and her passion for disabled sport, according to US Paralympics.

The claim was made by general secretary Charlie Huebner, who believes that Cody, who is a multiple Paralympic medallist representing the US at the 1984 Paralympics in wheelchair basketball before competing as a wheelchair racer at 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona, has all the right credentials to take on the role.

“Ann has an outstanding record as an athlete and executive in the corporate and sport sectors,” he said.

“She is a proven performer and has the necessary depth of experience, courage and integrity to represent the interests of every sector of the Paralympic Movement.”

Elections for the IPC Governing Board will take place on November 24 this year at the IPC General Assembly in Athens, where Cody will be up against Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) President Andrew Parsons, while current IPC President Sir Philip Craven is running against fellow Briton Alan Dickson, who is the President of the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA).

Following her retirement from competitive action, Cody has pursued a successful business career which has seen her hold a number of senior corporate positions in Washington DC, but it is her involvement in the development and support of Paralympic sport in the US in particular that has contributed to her nomination for the vice-president’s role.

She led the policy reform efforts within the US Olympic Committee (USOC) resulting in increased resources and a greater focus on the priorities of US Paralympics across the organisation, and as director of policy and global outreach for disability sports organisation, BlazeSports America, Cody established strong ties with the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, and US Department of State.

She has also overseen the implementation of sport development and diplomacy programmes with Paralympic partners in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe, and contributed to the work of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, article 30.5, that recognises sports participation as a human right.

“I am truly honoured to be nominated for vice-president of the IPC, and grateful for the potential opportunity to continue to serve the Paralympic Movement in this way,” said Cody, who has served on a number IOC commissions, including the International Sport Federation Executive Committee and Games organising and bid committees.

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BlazeSports Welcomes ’96 Paralympian as new Executive Director


BlazeSports Executive Director, Jon McCullough

BlazeSports Executive Director, Jon McCullough

Jon McCullough, former Paralympic athlete and leader in the disability movement, comes aboard as BlazeSports America’s new Executive Director today. “It’s the perfect match,” said Daniel Holland, chairman of BlazeSports Board of Directors. “Blaze Sports and Jon McCullough have shared the same mission and worked for the same goals for 17 years.” 

With a new executive director at the helm, BlazeSports America is reaffirming its vision to broaden opportunities for children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities to participate in healthful and life-enriching athletics and sports.

Established in 1993, BlazeSports is the legacy organization of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games. McCullough was a participant in those games, playing defense on the U.S. soccer team. He was a starter for Team USA for 12 years, which included the Paralympics in Greece and the 1998 World All-Star Game as well as ParaPan American Games competitions in Chile and Brazil. He mixed competition with leadership roles starting in 1999. Increasing his involvement in international sport, McCullough served as vice chair on the United States Olympic Committee’s Athlete Council, chairman of U.S. Soccer’s Athlete Council and on the board of directors for U.S. Soccer.

In addition, McCullough was chosen by his peers to be an Athlete Coordinator for the 2002 Paralympics in Salt Lake City, the 2005 Innsbruck Winter World University Games, the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games and the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. With the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, McCullough developed a conflict resolution program first implemented in the former Yugoslavia with youth from different sides in the war there. The soccer games, which had former foes working together on the same teams, were broadcast on national television and featured in the World Bank film, Transcending Sport

In South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, McCullough was a facilitator and keynote speaker  for the  Man-Up Summit,  a week-long gathering of 150 international delegates seeking to develop domestic initiatives to halt violence against women and girls, using sport and music as tools. While in South Africa, he was a facilitator and keynote speaker for FIFA’s youth initiative, Football for Hope. Before joining BlazeSports, he was also deputy director for Man-Up.

McCullough has an undergraduate degree in international health from The American University in Washington, D.C., and certified in International Sports Leadership as part of the first Leadership Summit of the International Paralympic Committee.  “I initially encountered BlazeSports in Atlanta in 1996, and I was impressed from the start to the success of their programs today in engaging young people and veterans with disabilities,” said McCullough, who is a disabled veteran himself. “From swimming,  soccer, basketball and track-and-field for kids to the Roosevelt Games for veterans, from international partnership programs in Haiti and Jordan to leadership training and capacity–building training in the U.S., everything I’ve seen is first class.  Becoming a part of this organization fulfills a dream.”

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New Table Tennis Program!!

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BlazeSports is Heading Back to Haiti

Institut Monfort 041

BlazeSports will be back in Haiti from October 10th to 17th  as part of the Disability Sport Project in Haiti funded by the UN Offices on Sport for Development and Peace. This project has served over 2000 Haitians with disabilities since its establishment in October 2011. 

During a week long trip, BlazeSports will deliver an amputee soccer workshop, host an amputee soccer tournament, deliver a mini disability sport festival at a partner school, and will partner with the Haitian Paralympic Committee in hosting a National Disability Sport Festival for over 500 Haitians with disabilities.

In addition to these activities, BlazeSports will be reuniting with the 18 alumni of the SportUnited cultural exchange that took place in Atlanta this past May. The 6 emerging leaders who were a part of the SportUnited funded project will be engaged in the BlazeSports’ activities in October. While the 12 kids and youth that travelled to Atlanta will take part in the National Disability Festival. 

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