Robert Steadward fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
- Graphic material
- Moving images
- Sound recording
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
4.85 m. of textual records
65 video reels
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Name of creator
Robert Steadward is a professor, sports scientist, author, coach, community leader, and founding President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Steadward was born on May 26, 1946 in Eston, Saskatchewan to Danny and Irene Steadward. Steadward studied Dentistry at the University of Alberta before switching fields to earn a bachelor degree from the Faculty of Physical Education at the University of Alberta. He went on to earn a Masters degree in Physical Education from the University of Alberta, and a PhD from the University of Oregon.
Steadward joined the faculty of the University of Alberta in 1970, specializing in exercise physiology, anatomy, and athletic injuries. Steadward founded the Research and Training Centre for the Physically Disabled at the University of Alberta (now known as The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement) in 1978. The center became a multi-disability fitness, research, and lifestyle center that continues to be internationally recognized as a model in the field of independent fitness training for people with disabilities. Steadward retired from the University of Alberta in 2001 as Professor Emeritus.
Steadward began his experience working with disabled athletes and adaptive sports in 1960 by coaching the wheelchair basketball club, the Edmonton Handicaddies. Steadward continued to coached basketball, swim, and track teams for the Paralympic Sports Association, and coached the Canadian national team at the 1972 Paralympic Games, 1973 International Stoke Mandeville Games, and the Jamaican Pan-American Games. He was also responsible for organizing the Canadian team during the 1976 Olympics for the Physically Disabled. Steadward was the founder, president, and chairman of the Canadian Sports Fund for the Physically Disabled from 1979-1989, served as President of the Alberta Wheelchair Sports Association from 1971-1975, and volunteered for various roles with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, such as coach, chef de mission, national governor, treasurer, and president.
Steadward first became involved in organizing competitive sporting events for athletes with disabilities in 1968, with the development of the first national championships for wheelchair sports, which was held in Edmonton. He became interested in helping to establish a central organization responsible for the international development of sport opportunities and competitions for disabled athletes in 1980, after attending the Olympics for the Physically Disabled in Arnhem, Netherlands. Previous to the foundation of the International Paralympic Committee, Paralympics Games were run by a conglomeration of four different organizations: the International Sport Organization for the Disabled (ISOD), the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMGF), the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), and the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CP ISRA). Steadward worked with the Canadian Federation of Sport Organizations for the Disabled (CFSOD) to develop a new centralized democratic model for the structure of disabled sport. Throughout the 1980s Steadward forged relationships with various disability sports organizations and sought support for the formation of a single organization to represent disabled athletes at the highest level of competition. Finally, in 1989 the International Paralympic Committee was formed with Steadward as the first President. One of Steadward's first goals for the IPC was to pursue recognition from, and eventual integration with, the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As a result of Steadward's communications with the IOC, demonstration events for athletes with disabilities started being included in the Olympics, and some competitions, such as the 2002 Commonwealth Games, started to fully integrated events for people with disabilities into their sporting program. Some other IPC successes that took place under Steadward's leadership include: developing the organizational and committee structure for the IPC, growing the number of IPC membership nations to 172, and formally connecting the IPC and IOC with a memorandum of understanding in 2000. Steadward stepped down as President and became Honorary President for Life of the IPC in 2001.
Steadward is the author of over 150 publications and has delivered over 300 speeches and presentations. He also was responsible for creating the Vista '93, a disability sport conference that brought together over 160 sports experts and laid the foundations for the ensuring Paralympic Congresses. Steadward has been recognized as a pioneer in the field of disability sport and has received several honours and awards celebrating his contributions and achievements including but not limited to: Alberta Sports Hall of Fame (1984), Order of Canada- officer (1999), Terr Fox Hall of Fame (2002), Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), Edmontonian of the Century (2004), Canada's Sport Hall of Fame (2007), Alberta Order of Excellence (2010), and Oder of Canada - Companion (2020).
Scope and content
Fonds reflects Steadward's work as the first President of the International Paralympic Committee and his involvement in the development of fitness and competitive sport opportunities for people with disabilities. Fonds is divided into six series: S1 - University of Alberta and the Research and Training Centre for Athletes with Disabilities, S2 - International Paralympic Committee (IPC), S3 - Paralympic Games, S4 - Non-Paralympic disability sporting events and associations, S5 - Speeches, presentations, interviews, and publications, and S6 - International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Games.
Fonds contains correspondence, reports, minutes, speeches, presentations, papers, newspapers, agendas, meeting notes, policies, bylaws, newsletters, press releases, competition results, handbooks, budgets, rules, photographs, videos, manuals, and guides.
Immediate source of acquisition
Some files have been arranged by the archivist. Please consult lower level descriptions for more information.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Some files restricted for privacy reasons. Please see lower level descriptions for details and consult archivist.
Playback equipment is not available for some materials. See lower level descriptions for details.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
The image linked to this description is a photograph of Robert Steadward from file 0101-20.
Also includes: 56 videocassettes, 49 audio cassettes, 47 pins, 7 coins, 5 medals, 3 v., 3 computer disks, 3 CD-ROM, 3 necklaces, 2 spoons, 2 napkins, 2 flags, 1 audio reel, 1 banner, 1 contact sheet, 1 keychain, 1 patch, 1 pendant, 1 mug.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Created March 7, 2023 by SD.