International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven, MBE, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Sport Industry Awards at a ceremony in Central London, United Kingdom. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes people whose work and dedication has changed the face of the sport industry forever.
According to the judging panel Craven has made a seismic contribution to U.K. sport and his commitment and presence has stamped an indelible mark on the sport industry over a number of decades. He was presented with the award by former wheelchair basketball teammate Armand “Tip” Thiboutot, PhD, and National Basketball Association (NBA) legend John Amaechi in front of an audience of 1,750 key figures from across the entire spectrum of British and European sport.
Philip, 61, has been president of the IPC since 2001, and later this year will oversee his sixth Paralympic Games at London 2012. During his tenure as IPC president, the Paralympic Movement has enjoyed significant growth and now boasts over 200 members, including 174 National Paralympic Committees across the globe. The Paralympic Games have also developed into the second biggest sporting event in the world and later this year a cumulative TV audience of close to four billion people will watch the London 2012 Games involving 4,200 athletes from 160 countries.
“It is no exaggeration to say that, without him, the Paralympics we know today and the games we look forward to this summer would be absolutely unrecognizable,” said Nick Keller, the chairman of the Sport Industry Group, in an IPC press release. “The Sport Industry Awards judges were unanimous in their decision to award Sir Philip this award, and I know their admiration for his achievements is echoed not just in this country, or on this continent, but all around the world.”
In addition to being the global head of the Paralympic Movement, Craven is an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, a board member of the London Organiszing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), and a member of the British Olympic Association’s Executive Board. Before becoming president of the IPC, he was president of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF), having previously held roles at national and international level within the sport.
Craven made his Paralympic Games debut in 1972 competing in swimming and wheelchair basketball and went on to represent Great Britain at wheelchair basketball at 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. In 1991 Craven received a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of his services to wheelchair basketball, and in 2005 was knighted for his services to Paralympic Sport.