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Old Boys Meet at Fair Play Congress

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Bolton School alumni Sir Philip Craven and Dr Steve Town both had the honour of presenting at this year’s European Fair Play Movement (EFPM) Congress, which took place at Latvia’s new National Library, also known as the Palace of Light, in Riga. This was the 20th Anniversary of the event.

The EFPM aims to uphold the values laid down in the Olympic Charter by promoting fair play, tolerance, and equality of access and representation in sport and in everyday life. It is presided over by the International Committee for Fair Play and sponsored by the International Olympic Committee; it is also a member of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education and works in cooperation with various other European sporting organisations and associations. The EFPM supports over forty member countries to encourage Fair Play, and its role in doing so it is recognised by the EU and the European Olympic and Paralympic Committees.

Sir Philip was one of the invited keynote speakers at the Congress. As President of the International Paralympics Committee, he gave a talk titled ‘The Paralympics Movement Can Change the World’ in which he spoke about the inspirational impact of the Paralympic Games.

Following on from Sir Philip, Steve presented a short paper called ‘Disability Sport and the Environment – Examples and Initiatives from England – The Inclusive Fitness Initiative’ to the audience.

Although both Old Boys attended Bolton School in the 1960s, they were not in the same year group. However, Sir Philip (1961 to 1969) would have shared some of his later school years with Steve (1966 to 1974). It turns out that as well as memories of the Boys’ Division, they also have something else in common: both are keen Bolton Wanderers fans!

Since leaving Bolton School, both alumni have gone on to achieve great success.

Sir Philip represented the UK at five Paralympic Games playing wheelchair basketball, and became President of the International Paralympic Committee in 2001. He was a Board Member of the London 2012 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and an Executive Board Member of the British Olympic Association.

Steve is now a Board Member at the English Federation of Disability Sport and British Wheelchair Basketball. Having worked in sport throughout his career, he now runs his own sports consultancy business and is a lecturer in Sports Management at the University of Worcester. He is also Chair of the EFPM Scientific Committee. Over the course of his career, he has obtained degrees from three universities, including an MSc in Sports Management and an MBA in Sport from Loughborough University; and he has been a Regional Director at Sport England, a senior local authority executive and National Team Coach for the Women’s Water Polo team.

It is an amazing coincidence that, despite the vastly different paths these two Old Boys have taken, they have both ended up involved with international sport, and speaking at the 20th Anniversary EFPM Congress.

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Sir Philip and Steve met up during the EFPM Congress

Sir Philip and Steve met up during the EFPM Congress