Paralympic gold medallist and multiple World Champion hand cyclist, Ernst van Dyk, has been announced as one of a record 22 athletes that have been accepted as candidates to fill the summer representative positions on the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Athletes’ Council.
A South African has neither been nominated for, nor served on the IPC Athletes’ Council before, and if elected, Van Dyk will represent the Para-cycling sporting code.
Talking about his historic nomination, Van Dyk said, “It is important for the athletes to have a voice in the IPC and the council and to play a roll in where the movement is heading. Only six of the 22 nominated athletes will be elected for council.”
There are some commitments required of those six athletes that are elected. “As far as I understand we will have two meetings annually. We represent the Paralympic athletes as a whole, and not a specific sport code. However, only three athletes can be nominated from each code.”
The other two Para-cycling nominees are Monica Bascio (USA) and Dame Sarah Storey (GBR).
Countries that are represented as candidates include USA, Ireland, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Australia, Turkey and Iran, amongst others, with sporting codes such as Para table tennis, Para swimming, Para powerlifting and Para rowing also represented.
The IPC Athletes’ Council Elections will take place from 5 September to 16 September 2016 during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.