The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced that ITU Board Member and African Triathlon Union Vice President, Dr Debra Alexander, has been elected as Member at Large for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board.
Debra Alexander was elected in the 18th IPC General Assembly, hosted in Abu Dhabi (UAE), which ran from 7-8 September. Nearly 330 representatives from 167 IPC member organizations (made up of 144 National Paralympic Committees, 15 International Federations, four Regional Organizations and four International Organizations of Sport for the Disabled) attended the assembly and the elections.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be elected member at large of the IPC,” said Debra Alexander. “Over the last few years, most of my work has been committed to the Paralympic athletes and the development of paratriathlon, and I am extremely proud of this opportunity. I commit myself to working on empowering para athletes from grass roots to Paralympic level and beyond sport, and also to support the development of para sport to produce world class events and strengthen the Paralympic brand.”
She continued, “But remembering always that athletes should be first, and that we must provide equal opportunities for all, I will work on enhancing the debate internally within the organization, applying good governance rules and strong decisive leadership in this new era for the Paralympic movement. I strongly believe that with team work, the International Paralympic Committee will be stronger and more innovative than ever.”
“We feel extremely proud of the role that has been assigned to Debbie,” said ITU President and IOC Member, Marisol Casado.
“She has been working tirelessly in the last few years for the development and implementation of our sport, including paratriathlon, and now she will be joining efforts with the IPC to bring the para sports and para athletes even further. She is a strong leader, a team player, a person who leads by example and a competent, determined and courageous person, and I am extremely glad that she can show her best also at the IPC.”
During the Assembly, Andrew Parsons from Brazil was elected the new President of IPC. It is the end of an era for the organization, that has been led by Sir Philip Craven for the last 16 years. Andrew Parsons will be the third President in IPC’s 28 year history.
Duane Kale from New Zealand was elected as the new Vice-President of the IPC.
Also elected Members at Large of the IPC were: Mohammed Alhemeli (UAE), Muffy Davis (USA), Rita van Driel (NED), Sung Il Kim (KOR), Luca Pancalli (ITA), Leonel da Rocha Pinto (African Paralympic Committee), Tim Reddish (GBR), Juan Pablo Salazar (COL) and Yasushi Yamawaki (JPN). The Governing Board will serve a four-year term with elections next held in 2021. It held its first informal meeting on Saturday (9 September).
Dr Debra Alexander was elected as SASCOC (Olympic and Paralympic Committee) Board Member in 2016. She is a former Head of the Clinical Psychology Department and remains a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry and now has a private practice.
Since 2012, she has held the role of ITU Executive Board Member as well as African Triathlon Union (ATU) Executive Board Member and first Vice President, being also the board liaison member on several committees in the ITU, including the Paratriathlon Committee. In 2009 she was elected President of the National Federation of Triathlon South Africa, a position she held until last year. In 2015 she was appointed to the South African Sports Commission and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) Medical and Anti-Doping Commission (2009-2012 and 2015- 2016).