Malta paralympian Kravchenko recognised on International Women’s Day

Swimmer Vladyslava Kravchenko is a Queen’s Young Leaders Awardee and a leading advocate for persons with disabilities in Malta

Vladyslava Kravchenko
Vladyslava Kravchenko

Maltese paralympian Vladyslava Kravchenko has been recognised as one of four outstanding winners of the 2023 International Women’s Day Awards by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Kravchenko was named alongside Patience Igbiti from Nigeria, and the Malawi National Paralympic Committee and the World Para Ice Hockey.

The Awards, which the IPC has been running since 2013, primarily recognise women in the Paralympic Movement who inspire and emulate the Paralympic ideals and serve as positive role models. The winners were chosen by members of the IPC Governing Board following nominations from across the Paralympic membership.

Kravchenko has been creating waves in and out of the water over the last decade: in 2015 she was selected by the European Paralympic Committee for the Youth Ambassadors programme to raise awareness about the Paralympic Movement in Europe and visited schools and spoke about the benefits of Para sport on platforms like the European Youth Sport Forum.

The following year at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games she was the first female swimmer and first female athlete since 1980 to represent Malta at the Paralympics. In 2017, she received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award from HM Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her work in Para sport in her community.

She has become a leading advocate for persons with disabilities in Malta. She was appointed by the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Malta to a Steering Committee which set up the first formal legal structure of the National Paralympic Committee and Athletes’ Council. She co-authored the National Para Sport Strategy 2019 – 2029 for Malta’s Ministry of Education and Employment.

A certified public accountant who recently graduated as a Master of Sport Management, Politics and International Development from Loughborough University, Vladyslava co-foundedthe youth-led NGO, Malta Youth Athletes Network, that brings together active and former athletes to develop local sport through collaborative projects and advocacy initiatives.

As part of this work, the organisation supported the implementation of I’mPOSSIBLE in Malta reaching over 900 students in the first year. Vladyslava was the athletes’ representative on the first elected Executive Committee of the Malta Paralympic Committee and currently holds the position of treasurer.

Andrew Parsons, IPC President said: “The IPC has been running its International Women’s Day Awards for over a decade now and every year we are hugely encouraged by the quality of the nominations.

“A huge well done to the winners for their well-deserved recognition, and a thank you to all of those who entered the awards. We are excited that there are so many female advocates from across the world making the Paralympic Movement more inclusive and opening new opportunities for women.”