Philip Craven

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Sir Philip Craven
2nd President of the International Paralympic Committee
Assumed office
8 December 2001[1]
Preceded by Robert Steadward
Personal details
Born (1950-07-04) 4 July 1950 (age 68)[2]
Bolton, England
Nationality British
Residence United Kingdom
File:Philip Craven@Beijing2008 HK.JPG
Craven participating in the medal presentation ceremony for the equestrian events at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

Sir Philip Craven, MBE (born 4 July 1950) is a British sports administrator and former athlete. He is the second and current President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).


Craven was born in Bolton, and attended Bolton School Boys' Division, where he was a keen swimmer, cricketer and tennis player. In 1966, at the age of 16, he fell during a rock-climbing expedition at Wilton Quarries, Bolton; the accident left him without the use of his legs.[3] Craven obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography at University of Manchester in 1972. He speaks fluent French, as well as basic German.

Career as an athlete

Craven represented Great Britain in wheelchair basketball at five editions of the Paralympic Games, from 1972 to 1988. He also competed in track and field athletics and swimming at the 1972 Games.[4][5]

He won gold at the wheelchair basketball World Championships in 1973, and bronze in 1975, as well as two gold medals (1971, 1974) and a silver (1993) at the European Championships. He also won gold at the European Champions Cup in 1994, and gold at the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in 1970.[4]

Results at the Paralympic Games[5]

Games Events Result Rank
1972 Athletics: Men's 100m (wheelchair, category 3) 29.1 s. 24 (of 41)
1972 Athletics: Men's slalom (category 3) 75.4 s. 24 (of 28)
1972 Swimming: Men's 50m breaststroke (category 3) 59.45 s. 6 (of 13, in the heats)
did not advance
1972 Men's wheelchair basketball Group A: lost to Argentina 48:56, won vs Sweden 44:38, won vs Netherlands 39:31, won vs Italy 40:17
Semi-final: lost to USA 36:52
Bronze medal match: lost to Argentina 39:54
4 (of 19)
1976 Men's wheelchair basketball Group C: lost to Argentina 48:52, won vs West Germany 33:28, tied vs Spain 38:38, won vs Denmark 74:22
Quarter-final: lost to Israel 26:60
no rank
1980 Men's wheelchair basketball Group D: lost to France 36:63, lost to Sweden 43:71, won vs Egypt 122:24
Second round: lost to W. Germany 44:56, won vs Australia 62:33, won vs Denmark 66:44
Semi-final for 9th place: lost to Belgium 23:63
Final for 11th place: lost to Spain 54:66
12 (of 17)
1984 Men's wheelchair basketball Group C: won vs France 48:47, won vs Australia 62:42, lost to Japan 52:62, won vs Egypt 108:13
Quarter-final: lost to USA 40:78
no rank
1988 Men's wheelchair basketball Group A: lost to USA 38:52, lost to Sweden 39:42, won vs Brazil 61:21
Quarter-final for 9th place: won vs S. Korea 60:30
Semi-final for 9th place: lost to Australia 29:40
Final for 11th place: won vs Spain 40:34
11 (of 17)

Career in sports administration

In 1980, alongside Horst Strohkendl and Stan Labanowich, Craven played a vital role in the development of a new classification system for wheelchair basketball athletes. Wheelchair basketball rejected its medically based classification system consisting of 3 classes, a system that was founded upon principles that forced athletes to depend on medical examinations. This progress led to a new 4-class functional system, which was democratically voted in 1982. Due to this, wheelchair basketball was increasingly associated with sport as opposed to medicine and rehabilitation, although both still play an important secondary role.

In 1988, Craven was elected Chairman of the Wheelchair Basketball Section of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMGF), the first athlete to lead the sport worldwide. Craven's striving for self-determination and self-government pave the way for the establishment of wheelchair basketball as an independent federation, when it gave up its previous identification as a basketball section of the ISMGF to become the independent, self-governing International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) in 1993. At the First IWBF Official World Congress 1994 in Edmonton, Alberta, Philip Craven was elected the first President of IWBF, holding the office until 1998. A productive and more formalised working relationship with FIBA, the worldwide governing body for the sport of basketball, was arranged under Craven's administration, to further legitimise wheelchair basketball itself.

Craven was elected as the second President of the International Paralympic Committee in 2001, a position he continues to hold today.

He was knighted in June 2005.[6]

Major contributions to Paralympic sport

  • President, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) (since 2001)
  • Member, International Olympic Committee (IOC) (since 2003)
  • Member, Executive Board, British Olympic Association (since 2003)
  • board member, London 2012 Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (since 2005)
  • Administration Council Member, International Committee for Fair Play (since 2003)
  • Foundation board member, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) (since 2002)
  • board member, Olympic Truce Foundation (since 2002)
  • Member, IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education (since 2005)
  • Member, IOC 2008 Beijing Co-ordination Commission (since 2002)
  • Member, IOC Sport & Environment Commission (2002–2005)
  • Member, IOC Congress 2009 Commission (since 2006)
  • President, International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) (1998–2002)
  • Chairman, Classification Committee, Basketball Section ISMWSF (1984–1988)
  • Chairman, Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association (1977–1980, 1984–1987, 1989–1994)

Professional career

  • Performance Director, GBWBA Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team (1998–2002)
  • chief executive officer, International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (1994–1998)
  • company secretary, British Coal Corporation (1986–1991)


Sir Philip Craven is today an Ambassador for Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organisation,[7] committed to serving peace in the world through sport.

See also

  • Thomas Bach, current President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)


  1. IPC General Assembly Elects Craven as President, The Paralympian 4/2001 – International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  2. "Paralympics 2012: Games set 'to take off' says IPC president". BBC. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Philip Craven". Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 23 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "BIOGRAPHY SHEET”, International Paralympic Committee
  5. 5.0 5.1 Results archive, International Paralympic Committee
  6. "Top honours for wheelchair stars", BBC, 10 June 2005
  7. Peace and Sport

External links