The Spanish Paralympic Committee: an Overview

11 May, 2020
What is the entity that regulates and organizes sports for disabled people in Spain? In this article, we'll tell you all about the Spanish Paralympic Committee, its origin, background and activity.
 

Paralympic sports are growing all over the world. Along with them, the federations and committees that regulate the main competitions and events are also gaining more prominence. The point of maximum organization of these types of sports for people with disabilities is something we can see in the Paralympic Games.  In Spain, for example, the Spanish Paralympic Committee (CPE from its Spanish initials) is the institution in charge of promoting Spanish adapted Olympic sports.

This entity also represents the country before the International Paralympic Committee (ICP). In this case, we must reference the current sports law. Next, we invite you to learn a little more about the history, functions, and importance of the Spanish Paralympic Committee. We’ll also discover the origins of the Paralympic movement, which has changed the lives of many people with disabilities.

The origins of the Paralympic movement and sports

To understand the importance of the foundation of the Spanish Paralympic Committee, we should analyze the interesting origins of Paralympic sports around the world. How did this movement come about?

Long before the Paralympic Games existed in 1888, the first sports clubs for deaf people began to emerge in Berlin. These initiatives are now recognized as the roots of the Paralympic movement.

However, it was only after World War II that adapted sports for people with disabilities would begin to develop in a more professional and structured way.

 

The motivation for these initiatives was largely related to the rehabilitation of war veterans and civilians who had suffered injuries and wounds in war confrontations.

A disabled athlete participating in a Paralympic sport event organized by the Spanish Paralympic Committee

First Olympic competition

A few years later, during the 1948 London Olympics, the first competition for wheelchair athletes took place. In the same event, 16 veterans with disabilities had the opportunity to participate in archery events.

In 1952, the Stoke Mandeville International Games emerged, with the collaboration of Dutch athletes with disabilities. This event marked a before and after for this type of athlete, and in the history of adapted sports as well. Its success would encourage the celebration of the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960.

Four hundred athletes and more than 20 countries participated in the first meeting in Italy. However, it wasn’t until 1989 that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) originated as a non-profit entity.

Spanish Paralympic Committee: a before and after

In 1955, shortly after the founding of the ICP, the Spanish Paralympic Committee was created. Its main goal from the beginning was to encourage the growth of adapted high competition sports in the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, it coordinates the participation of Spanish athletes representing the country in the Paralympic Games.

 

In addition to representing Spain before the International Paralympic Committee, the CPE is a member of the Spanish Committee of Representatives for People with Disabilities (CERMI from its Spanish initials). The CERMI is the main platform for action, defense, and representation of Spanish citizens with disabilities.

Support plans

The Spanish Paralympic Committee is also responsible for managing the Paralympic Sport Support Plan (ADOP). This important initiative will offer Spanish athletes the fundamental conditions so they can dedicate themselves to training and practicing adapted sports.

These political and social plans are about ensuring sports access for people with disabilities and reducing socioeconomic inequalities in the sports world.

In addition to the ONCE Foundation, the ADOP Plan has the support of numerous public entities, such as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, the Higher Council for Sports, Social Services and Equality, and Public Administrations.

Two disabled athletes in the middle of a Paralympic competition

Which federations are part of the Spanish Paralympic Committee?

The CPE brings together the main Spanish adapted sports federations for people with disabilities, as well as those federations that incorporate disciplines that are part of the Paralympic program. These are some of the important entities that stand out for the development of Spanish Paralympic sports:

 
  • Spanish Federation of Sports for the Blind (FEDC)
  • Spanish Federation of Sports for People with Physical Disabilities (FEDDF)
  • The Spanish Federation of Sports for Intellectual Disabilities (FEDDI)
  • Spanish Federation of Sports for the Deaf (FEDS)
  • Spanish Federation of Cerebral Paralytic Sports (FEDPC)

In turn, the internal organizational structure of the Spanish Paralympic Committee consists of four fundamental branches. They are the General Assembly, Executive Committee, Guarantee Commission and Permanent Commission.

To know more about the promotion of adapted sports for people with disabilities in Spain and the main projects and actions of the Spanish Paralympic Committee, just access the official website of the CPE.

 
  • Web oficial del Comité Paralímpico Español. Extraído de: http://www.paralimpicos.es/plan-adop-verano.
  • Comité Español de Personas con Discapacidad. Extraído de: https://www.cermi.es/
  • Plan ADOP. Comité Paralímpico Español. Extraído de: http://www.paralimpicos.es/plan-adop-verano