World ParaVolley Board Meeting highlights summary of strategic planning towards Brisbane 2032

World ParaVolley held its first Board Meeting of 2024 in a virtual format to include its members, invited guests, and members of its leadership team of those responsible for commissions and committees. In a true testament to its global composition, the meeting accommodated nine time zones for members and participants originating from 15 countries.

The Board received the summary report of a strategic planning meeting held in early December 2023 in Los Angeles, United States, home of the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games. The meeting facilitator, Wayne Hellquist (CAN), is a professional executive management and communications expert and former long-time vice president of WPV, led the sessions and provided the summary of key points, including:

  • Examining the organisation’s opportunities and challenges that require attention to establish the best possible environment for sustainability (financially, structurally, and otherwise). The foundation of most priorities can be achieved through incorporation as a non-profit entity in the United States. (2022 Board Action in final phase)
  • Implementing best practices and reducing conflict of interest across all areas of WPV.
  • Assessing opportunities looking ahead to the next two Paralympic Games in Los Angeles 2028 and Brisbane 2032, including upholding the popularity and visibility of sitting volleyball, and applying to include the emerging discipline of beach paravolley in the Brisbane 2032 sport programme.
  • Improving and separating the governance structure from the business model for sustainability.
  • Building capacity in key areas, including human resources because WPV is an entirely volunteer-based organization with one contract consultant.

“The Board and thought leaders were actively engaged during the December meetings, and many common points were raised. As a group, we identified many areas that need attention and further advancement. We will also seek to engage more of our volunteer leadership group in conversation moving forward in their area of interest.


“Paris 2024 is a priority right now for our operations. We must also look ahead to Los Angeles 2028 and Brisbane 2032 to prepare our strategic plan for implementation starting immediately following the conclusion of the Paralympics later this year.”


– WPV President, Lori Okimura (USA)

The Board received updates from key areas for 2024 activities. Glenn Stewart (AUS) provided updates about the Paris 2024 planning.  Stewart serves as the Technical Delegate for sitting volleyball in the Paralympics. The qualification pathway for sitting volleyball is nearing its end, with one qualifying event remaining, the WPV Final Paralympic Qualification Tournament in Dali, China from 3 to 10 April. Stewart leads a WPV delegation of 31 international technical officials from 22 countries who will manage the 10-day sitting volleyball competition at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

The Board received an update of safeguarding issues from the acting team leader, Sven Ritter (GER) who was appointed to lead the Safeguarding Integrity Commission through the next phase of implementation of a sport-wide safeguarding program for youth and adults. Among the goals of the commission is to recruit additional members with professional safeguarding or legal experience, and to continue establishing regulations and requirements for volunteers within the organization, including educational coursework and safeguarding officer training. WPV is one of the international federations supporting the implementation of adult coursework from Safe Sport International in the U.K., the leading international organization in global safeguarding best practice, research, and resources.

The WPV President, Lori Okimura, shared common points raised by stakeholders in a series of “listen and learn” meetings since ascending to the position on January 1, 2024. She has been meeting with many individuals and groups and plans to continue creating opportunities to engage more directly in this ongoing mission. More direct communication, budget impact (including increasing costs of events) and changes in financial planning cycles for members, consistency applying rules and regulations interpretation by officials, adjustment to the world ranking system, the global competition calendar 2025 to 2028 for sitting and beach paravolley, safeguarding, and fundraising/development included the key issues raised.

Motions passed are summarized below:

  1. The 2024 World ParaVolley General Assembly was confirmed to be a virtual meeting held Saturday, 7 December. More information to follow in due time.
  2. The Board appointed a nominee to fill the role of vice president through 2024, and until a new vice president is elected at the 2024 WPV General Assembly. A formal announcement will follow.
  3. The Board approved the formation of a WPV Legal Commission, and Team Leader, Mr. Graham Arthur (GBR). Arthur currently serves as General Counsel to WPV.  The commission will report directly to the WPV President alongside the Athlete, and Safeguarding Integrity Commissions.
  4. The Board approved the formation of a Governance working group to assist the President and General Manager as a consulting body. Some areas of focus will include nominating and vetting of board candidates, the 2024 WPV General Assembly, onboarding/orientation of new members (including team leaders and board members), and an internal review and recommendation of governance structure and function of the organisational chart.
  5. Three motions were withdrawn by the motion makers.

The Board will seek to confirm the remaining 2024 meeting calendar which is foreseen to include 4-5 virtual meetings between now and the end of the year.

World ParaVolley is the International Federation responsible for the global governance, planning, and management of all disciplines of volleyball for persons with a physical disability including the emerging discipline of beach paravolley and the Paralympic discipline of sitting volleyball.