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The History of National Paralympic Day of Iran

 One of the accomplishments of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979 was Sport Federation for the Disabled which formed in 1980, through which the government, having recognized the target community, brings this federation under the supportive aegis of national sport organization, next to other national federations.  

Followed by two decades activities of Sports Federation for the Disabled, Iran NPC came into existence on 5th, February 2001 that put qualitative and quantitative development of summer and winter Paralympic games sports at the top of this committee's agenda out of which was born the idea of a national scale celebration of Paralympic Day with the promoting Paralympic movement through attracting the target community among the youth, adolescent boys and girls and their families.

The rationale behind marking this day is to pull the target community out of social isolation, fulfill their sport rights in the community, bolster public-scale facilitation of Paralympic movement, promote self-confidence, offer a platform across the country to develop their involvement in the game, and change the social attitude towards this target community.

Drafting the public sport commission constitution on 19th Feb 2002, the groundwork was laid for the planning and organization of this remarkable day via running a test event with participation of 300 adolescent boys and girls in the Enghelab Sports Complex.

The successful staging of such an event and its impact on developing the Paralympic Movement led to the inclusion of 16 October on the Iranian annual calendar as the National Paralympic Day by a Presidential order issued on 7th Oct 2016.

NPC Iran in collaboration with 13 National Federations, who cover twenty summer and winter Paralympic sports, staged the 15th Ceremony of I. R. Iran National Paralympic Day took place across all cities on 16 October 2022 which was a further success to the Paralympic Movement in the country.

The most important international officials who participated or issued messages to the national Paralympic day from 2003 to 2022 are as follows:

  •  IPC:  Sir Philip Craven, Andrew Parsons
  •  UN: Wilfried Lemke
  •  APC: Dato Zainal Abu Zarin, Tarek Souei, Majid Rashed


As the main goals of the IRI NPC have been proper introduction of the Movement to Iranian society and promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities, the ‘National Paralympic Day’ (NPD) was formed.

The Main Aims

  • To give people with disabilities and their families nationwide the opportunity to try grassroots para sports
  • To promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the project
  • To change attitudes towards people with disabilities
  • To reduce the stigma and discrimination towards people with disabilities through emphasizing their sportive empowerment


2002: A pre-test event

As a pioneer, NPC Iran sent the plan of holding National Paralympic Day ceremony to the International Paralympic Committee. On the 5th November 2002, IPC Secretary General Miguel Sagarra replied to Iran NPC’s plan through a supportive message.


IPC Secretary General’s Supportive Message:       

“I would like to congratulate you on your initiative and encourage you to work hard.”


Following NPC officials’ efforts and IPC positive considerations, Iran NPC started to organized a pre-test event the and the ceremony was held by the attendance of 300 children with disabilities (Amputees, cerebral palsies, Intellectual disability, spinal cords and Blinds) along with their families, training coaches, Paralympic champions and sports officials at the Olympic and Paralympic Academy in Tehran.



2003: The First Edition of IR Iran NPD

The first celebration of ‘IRI National Paralympic Day’ in 2003 featured 2,860 participants and the pilot city was Tehran, Capital of Iran.

Tehran's ceremony held with Para sports exhibitions and educational workshops for children with disabilities at the National Academy of Olympic and Paralympic.

Achieving Iran NPC reports, IPC Secretary General Miguel Sagarra praised this initiative festival.


Date: 9 October 2003

Number of Pilot Province(s): 1

Number of Participant: 2,860


Sports Federation for the Disabled, Sports Federation for the Blind, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Sport and Youth, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, IRI National Broadcasting and the relative media.

2004: The 2nd Edition of IR Iran NPD


The Second celebration of ‘National Paralympic Day’ in 2004 featured more participants in comparison with the first edition.

The Celebration held with para sports exhibitions and educational workshops held at the sports complexes across all 6 provinces throughout a week and around 6000 people attended this ceremony.

The report was sent to Steffi Klein, Communication Manager of IPC and it was considered by the IPC officials.

  • Date: 7 Oct 2004
  • Pilot Province: 6
  • Participant: 6,000 male & female children, juniors and youths with disabilities.

2005: The 3rd Edition of IR Iran NPD


The 3rd Edition of IR Iran NPD held on 29 Sep 2005, by the attendance of 11,000 male and female children with an impairment across 17 provinces of the country.

Several ceremonies and sport activities were implemented at sports complexes across the country. In addition, 14000 books on the theme of sports for disabled were distributed among the participants.

Dignitaries, Messages and Speeches

IPC Secretory General2005

Click HEREto read the IPC President Message

Miguel Sagarra, IPC Secretary General attended in the 3rd NPD Tehran ceremony as an international dignitary and a message from Sir Philip Craven, the President of the International Paralympic Committee recited by IPC Secretary General in the event.

2007: The 4th Edition of IR Iran NPD

Under the motto of “Spirit in Motion”, Iran NPC held the 4th Edition of NPD.

The programs were performed by the attendance of 17,000 participants; the male & female children with different impairment participated from 30 provinces of the country on 25 Oct 2007.

Tehran ceremony attended by high ranked officials such as the Ministry of Youth and Sport, National Olympic and Paralympic Presidents and may celebrities of the sports.


2011: The 5th Edition of IR Iran NPD

With more than 10 months to the 2012 London Paralympic Games the 5th Edition of Iran NPD the 5th edition of the ceremony held limitedly by attendance of 20,000 people in the country.

At Tehran’s Azadi Sports Complex the participants part took part in sporting events, including demonstrations in Football 7-a-Side and Wheelchair Basketball. They gathered in and around the stadium to witness the encouragement and promotion of Paralympic Sport for young athletes with impairment.

The young athletes had the chance to meet famous Paralympians who opened their eyes to new opportunities in sport for those with impairment.

Moreover, the audience was entertained with different interesting live performances, while the children with disabilities had the chance to speak with the experts and get advice on their talents for Paralympic sports. In addition, a square in the capital Tehran is named "Paralympic" in this Day.

Dignitaries, Messages and Speeches

The celebration was started by the speech of APC President, Dato Zainal Abu Zarin who had traveled to Iran for this event, and Sir Philip Craven's message was read by NPC Secretary General on 16 Oct 2011.

Sir Philip Craven message 2011

The other official message sent by United Nations Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfred Lemke was delivered by Dr. Rakhshani the vice president of IRI NPC.


2013: The 6th Edition of IR Iran NPD

The 6th Edition performed with presence of 30,000 boys & girls with various kinds of disabilities accompanied by their parents and teachers.

Under the motto of "Trust, Empowerment, Hope, Happiness on Paralympic Route National Paralympic Day at the Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran, Iran, on 4 Dec 2013.

National Paralympic Week festival was celebrated simultaneously in all provinces of our country. As part of the festivities, they received an inclusive National Paralympic Day medal and met with the Iranian Sport Minister, Co-operate Minister, National Olympic Committee officials, Paralympians and other sporting officials and invited dignitaries. Happy and funny programs by the national TV were presented.

In conjunction with Paralympic Day of the Week, the first meeting of APC Women in Sport Committee in Tehran, attended by members from Japan, Korea, Pakistan and I.R. Iran and followed by their presentence in the Tehran ceremony of NPD.

Dignitaries, Messages and Speeches

Sir Philip Craven’s message broadcasted from a video – conference in the ceremony at Azadi Sports Complex. A supportive message of United Nations Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfred Lemke was also delivered.


Click to read: IPC website report on the topic of the Iran 13th National Paralympic Day

2014: The 7th Edition of IR Iran NPD

Athletes and officials came together to celebrate Iran's 7th National Paralympic Day in Tehran on 12 September 2014.

The national Day and Week were held by presence of about 40,000 participants which saw 40,000 children with an impairment celebrated National Paralympic Day in Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran and other provinces of Iran.

Dignitaries, Messages and Speeches

In addition to broadcast of a video message from Sir Philip Craven (IPC President) and an official text message of Mr. Wilfried Lemke, was delivered by Iran's Paralympic Shooting Champion Sareh Javanmardi.


2015: The 8th Edition of IR Iran NPD

The Iran National Paralympic Committee (NPC) celebrated their National Paralympic Day on 13 October 2015, promoting the event was attended by high-ranked officials, including Wilfried Lemke, United Nations Secretary General Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace. Lemke was joined by Tarek Souei, the Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Paralympic Committee.

Additionally, among the approximate 40,000 participants, there was also a strong showing of children both with and without impairments at the event.

Dignitaries, Messages and Speeches

A video message from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven was played at a special ceremony in the Iranian capital.

Click to watch the IPC President's Message

2015 Craven

During the ceremony, Wilfried Lemke also addressed the audiences by a speech, and he also joined the athletes with disabilities' demonstration of para sports at the Azadi Sport Complex indoor saloon.

Click to read Mr. Lemke's Message



2016: The 9th Edition of IR Iran NPD

With more than 8 months to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games the 9th Edition of Iran NPD ceremony held limitedly in Tehran.

The Iran National Paralympic Committee (NPC) started the celebrated the 9th Edition of National Paralympic Day on 3 December 2016. The week also celebrated with the presence of more the 40,000 children and youth students with different impairments across the country.

NPC Iran aimed at delivering the following targets during National Paralympic Week:

  • Making the motivation and self-belief among people with impairment
  • Contribution to the inclusion of the people with impairment
  • Introducing Paralympic Movement to the society
  • Inviting the relative organizations and the stakeholders to offer public services
  • Changing the attitudes towards people with impairment
  • Creating a cheerful and happy atmosphere among the target population
  • Providing social opportunities for the target population


Through the efforts of IRI NPC officials the Day was included in the National Calendar by a Presidential order in 2016.


2017: The 10th Edition of IR Iran NPD

Thousands of people with impairments have gathered across Iran to mark their tenth Paralympic Day. Groups in several provinces and cities, including the capital Tehran on 18 Oct 2017.

Representatives from several sports federations, universities and the country’s National Olympic Committee were also among those taking part in the event.

Every child who participated in the “Sports for All” program also received a free volleyball or football as a commemorative gift.

Dignitaries, Messages and Speeches

A video message from new International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons was played at a special ceremony in the Iranian capital, attended by officials from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

2018: The 11th Edition of IR Iran NPD

Around 60,000 Children, juniors and Youths (Boys & Girls) from all over the country invited to participate in the National Paralympic Day ceremony to experience the Paralympic Sports on 16 October 2018. Sport Officials, coaches, families and 2018 Asian Para Games medalist joined the celebration of this event.

The Ceremony held in 31 provinces, I. R. Iran simultaneously. Tens of Educational Sport Workshops were held. 

2019: The 12th Edition of IR Iran NPD

Nearly 60,000 people with impairment celebrated the 12th National Paralympic Day & Week in 31 cities of Iran on 13 Nov 2019. Because of air pollution and the public cancellation of schools in Tehran, National Paralympic Day was not held in this city.

Some activities were implemented during these 7 days including: Organizing workshops in schools & universities, Acknowledging Para athletes & their families and visiting the rehabilitation centers for the people with impairment.

2020: The 13th Edition of IR Iran NPD

Under the strict safety guidelines due to the outbreak of Covid-19, NPC Iran staged National Paralympic Day symbolically in I. R. Iran National Olympic and Paralympic Academy on October 31. This event, which was broadcasted on a live TV show on national broadcasting, was attended by a limited number of officials from sport and government including the president of NPC Iran, deputy minister of Education and head of Special Needs Education Organization and also deputy minister of Sport and Youth.

In this ceremony, Mohammad Tabe, NPC Iran CEO, welcomed the guests and delivered a short speech regarding Paralympic Movement. Afterwards, Zahra Nemati, the Iranian Paralympic gold medalist, recited the message of National Paralympic Day and week.

At the end of the ceremony, National Paralympic Committee presented 8,600 packages to the following organizations and their target population, including:

  • 3,000 to State Welfare Organization of Iran,
  • 3,000 to Special Needs Education Organization, and
  • 2,600 to Para Sports Boards across the country.

Each package contained a ball, a cover, a t-shirt, some face masks and hand sanitizer.

2021: The 14th Edition of IR Iran NPD

The 14th Edition of NPD held with presence of about 40,000 participants, (abled and disabled) which saw 8,000 children with an impairment celebrated National Paralympic Day at IR Iran Olympic and Paralympic Academy in Tehran on 16 October 2021.

Under the slogan, "Mobility, Empowerment, Making Honor", the event was held in the grass court of National Olympic and Paralympic Academy (NOPA IRAN), while attended by many distinguished guests, including the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, President of the National Olympic Committee and President of the National Paralympic Committee, Mahmoud Khosravi Vafa.

As part of the festivities, they received an inclusive National Paralympic Day medal and met with the Iranian Sport Minister, Co-operate Minister, National Olympic Committee officials, Paralympians and other sporting officials and invited dignitaries.

The message of National Paralympic Day recited by Zahra Nemati, three-time Paralympic gold medalist on behalf of I.R. Iran NPC.

13 Federation & 27 Ministries, Organization and NGO played their role to promote this occasion.

2022:The 15th Edition of IR Iran NPD

The 15th National Paralympic Day, an annual festival aimed at boosting Para sports culture, was held on Sunday, 16 October. More than 60,000 participants, representing 31 provinces celebrated this event in 2022.

The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) President Majid Rashed was in Tehran's Azadi Indoor Stadium, which has a capacity of 12,000, to watch thousands of people with impairments gather to play and celebrate Para sports.

APC Mahid 

APC President Majid Rashed delivered a speech in the 15th IRI National Paralympic Day

"To have such a longstanding event, celebrating the achievements of people with impairment, is a testament to the fine work being done by Iran’s National Paralympic Committee," Rashed said. "These days have been held up as a beacon of best practice right across our region, with many NPCs using them as inspiration to hold similar events."

The APC President also underlined the importance of hosting such an event to put a spotlight on the Paralympic Movement, which changes attitudes towards people with disabilities.

A video message from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons was played at a special ceremony in the Iranian capital. In it, the IPC President underlined the important role of families of people with disabilities.

IPC Parsons

The Video Message of IPC President Andrew Parsons

Live streamed on Iranian state television, the festival featured a variety of entertainment, including performances by popular TV presenters, local musicians and artists, as well as appearances of several famous athletes.

Demonstration medals, sport balls and gifts were offered to audience members as a part of the ceremony.

One of the most important milestones of NPC Iran, the first edition of National Paralympic Day took place in 2003 with about 3,000 people in attendance. For the 12th edition in 2019, a record-breaking number of more than 60,000 participants celebrated this event across all 31 provinces of Iran.


In addition to National Paralympic Day, a range of programs and activities are planned to be launched each year during Paralympic Week with each day allocated to one area.

“I’d like to thank everyone at the National Paralympic Committee of Iran for all their hard work in putting on this event,” the APC President concluded. “I’d like to wish the event every success. I’m sure it will continue to be an inspiration to other countries in Asia to follow suit.”


In addition to attend in the 15th edition of NPD’s Ceremony, APC President Majid Rashed accompanied by APC CEO Tarek Souei met the IRI minster of Sport and Youth Affairs and the Chairman of NPC and NOC.

In a meeting held at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs headquarters, he presented the Asian Paralympic Honorary Golden Badge (the highest accolade anyone can receive within the Asian Paralympic Movement) to Mahmoud Khosravi Vafa, Chairman of the NPC and NOC of Iran.

He also visited the facilities of IR Iran Tochal Ski Resort, Sports Museum, National Paralympic Academy, Iran NPC departments and the IRISFD’s national training camps.

APC President concluded his three-day visit by attending a press conference that lasted almost an hour and answered all the questions raised.

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