There has been huge spectator support for Para-sport competitors taking part in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

The huge support for Para-sport competitors at the Birmingham 2022 Games has been "very positive", according to International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons, but he insists the Paralympics will remain a stand-alone event "for the foreseeable future".

Parsons experienced the vibrant atmosphere of the ongoing Commonwealth Games during the first two days of competition, and he told insidethegames that he had fully appreciated watching Para sport events that have been integrated with able-bodied competition.

"I was at the swimming when the swimmers and Para swimmers were together, and at the 3x3 basketball when the basketball players and the Para basketball players were together," he said.

"So I have seen some of the integrated sports events, and I think it’s positive.

"Many people have said this is the future for the Olympics and Paralympics - but to be honest I don’t think so.

"Some events we can have this integrated approach, but if you see the number of athletes for example in swimming, it is a very limited swimming programme in terms of the number of events and the classes.

"I do recognise and I do think it’s very, very positive to have some Para events at the Commonwealth Games.

"In the UK I like to think this has to do with London 2012 - the audience sees no difference.

IPC President Andrew Parsons has told insidethegames that the Para-sport events at Birmingham 2022 have been
IPC President Andrew Parsons has told insidethegames that the Para-sport events at Birmingham 2022 have been "very positive" but that the Paralympics will remain a unique and stand-alone showcase for athletes with disability ©ITG

"So I was at the basketball 3x3, and we saw a wheelchair male match, a wheelchair female match, an able-bodied male match and an able-bodied female match.

"And the participation of the crowd was exactly the same in all of them.

"But at the same time, still, inclusion is not a reality around the world, as we would all like it to be.

"So we still believe in the exclusive event, the event where persons with disability are centre-stage.

"And right now in the world this event is the Paralympic Games.

"If you speak about sport, art, culture, education, politics, economy or whatever the only global event that puts people with disability centre-stage is the Paralympics.

"In some ways we still believe we need this moment, that is dedicated to and is the platform to send a very important message, through sport, at a global level.

"We welcome the integration within the Commonwealth Games, and we have agreements in place with the Commonwealth Games Federation, so we are co-operating in many areas.

"We had some meetings while we were in Birmingham so we can increase that co-operation.

"But we believe the Paralympic Games still, for, let’s say the foreseeable future, shall remain in the model that we currently have."