British Paralympic Association Statement on COVID-19 (19 March 2020)
The British Paralympic Association (BPA) recognises the nation is facing an unprecedented public health crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our primary concern is for those throughout society dealing with the impact of this outbreak, particularly anyone affected by the virus, and the countless individuals and organisations that are at the frontline protecting our communities. We recognise this is a worrying period for those with an underlying health condition many of whom are disabled people and for the elderly.
Sport is clearly of secondary importance, but for many Paralympic athletes, preparation and qualification opportunities for the Tokyo 2020 Games are now being severely impacted. An ongoing sport by sport risk assessment is being carried out to identify any additional concerns associated with specific impairment types that make up the ParalympicsGB delegation.
We remain in regular dialogue with the International Paralympic Committee during this difficult time and it is clear there are significant concerns being raised by athletes globally as their opportunities to both train and qualify for the Games are severely restricted for the foreseeable future.
Paralympic athletes should continue to prepare for the Games but only where it is safe and appropriate to do so, adhering to the current Government and public health guidelines.
As of the date of this statement 19th March 2020, the IPC and the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Paralympic Games, have confirmed there is no change to the status of the Games being staged between 25th August – 6th September 2020 and we will continue to plan on that basis.
The British Paralympic Association has no higher priority than the safety and health of athletes and staff and we will continue to remain vigilant to ensure we do all we can to protect our delegation. We will remain in regular contact with our Chief Medical Officer, Home Country Sport Institutes, UK Government, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the International Paralympic Committee in the months ahead and will continue to plan accordingly.
Finally, the British Paralympic Association wishes to express its solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom and the wider international sporting community in these incredibly challenging times.