More than 70 representatives met in Siegburg ©IPC

More than 70 Para sport representatives met in Siegburg to learn more about the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) ongoing review of the Athlete Classification Code and provide feedback on its first draft.

Participants were able to find out about key changes to the document which has been under review since 2021, after coming into effect in 2017.

There were 20 delegates from National Paralympic Committees and 52 from International Federations present in the German city.

The scope of the Athlete Classification Code, the classification process from an athlete's perspective, as well as the relationship between classification and the IPC’s overall vision were discussed at the three-day meeting.

"As much as this meeting was useful for the participants, the meeting was equally helpful for the IPC and particularly the code review team to understand some of the initial feedback from our members in these targeted areas," said Tea Cisic, the IPC's head of classification.

"What is important for us is to obtain feedback from different stakeholders for the code review team to be able to then reflect and propose what is the best direction for classification in the future."

Phase two of the three-phase review is due to be completed in December with IPC members, athletes, Para sport officials and other stakeholders encouraged to share feedback on the draft.

"This meeting is one of the few professional development opportunities for individuals working in the field of classification across our membership development, a unique opportunity for networking and exchanging practices and experiences," Cisic said.

"I would like to thank all meeting participants for their active engagement over the three days of meetings.

"I would also like to thank the Classification Committee and the entire code review team for their contribution and hard work in preparing the first draft Code.

"We will now continue the dialogue around the Code review as we progress through this consultation phase and will work towards producing a revised draft next year, when we expect to meet with our members again, hopefully in an even bigger number."

A third and final consultation phase of the Athlete Classification Code review is scheduled to take place from July to October 2023, prior to the IPC General Assembly voting on the new document and international standards in 2024.

The new Athlete Classification Code is set to be published in 2024 and implemented in January 2025 for summer sports and July 2026 for winter sports.