2022 is a crucial year for World Sailing’s mission to see Para Sailing reintegrated for LA28
by World Sailing Dec 15, 2021 20:56 UTC
2022 – Crucial year for World Sailing’s mission to see Para Sailing reintegrated for LA28 © World Sailing
2022 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for parasailing as the international federation, World Sailing, pursues its ambition to see sailing reinstated for the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028.
- A solid line-up of events planned for 2022 as World Sailing, the sport’s international federation, continues its efforts to have parasailing reinstated for the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028.
- The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will make its decision at the end of 2022 on which sports will be reinstated.
- World Sailing is achieving its key strategic priorities to support the growth of the sport by 2023.
- The successful launch of the #SailtoLA “Back the Bid” campaign in late October saw an outpouring of support from renowned world sailors and sports personalities including Sir Ben Ainslie, Dame Ellen MacArthur, Dee Caffari MBE, Franck Cammas and the 2021 America’s Cup winners team New Zealand led by Grand Dalton.
“This is the year it will be decided which sports will be reinstated by the International Paralympic Committee for the Games in Los Angeles in 2028,” said David Graham, CEO of World Sailing. “While we are still waiting for the IPC to confirm the re-entry process and timeline, we expect the application and statement of intent to be requested in Q1. World Sailing will then need to submit our initial application package to the second quarter and the full application by the end of the summer. The final decision on which sports, if any, are to be reinstated is normally announced at the IPC Annual General Meeting, which takes place in November.”
It is certainly uncertain whether any sports will be reinstated for LA28 – the parasports for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games are the same as those for Tokyo 2020. IPC President Andrew Parsons, who was recently re-elected for a second term as President of the IPC, during the General Assembly (December 11-12), has already publicly stated that he is interested in “new sports” and world trends. Only 22 Paralympic sports will be contested at the 2028 Paralympic Games and the IPC will determine the criteria that sports must adhere to in order to be reinstated.
Strategic priorities by 2023
To meet the anticipated criteria set by the IPC, World Sailing has defined a set of strategic priorities to support the growth of the sport by 2023:
- Increase global participation to 45 nations on six continents.
- Increase the participation of young people (under 30) to 20% of the total number of athletes.
- Increase the number of female participants to 30% and ultimately achieve gender parity.
Other areas of focus are diversity, inclusion, affordability, development and increasing the number of free-sailing and para-sailing events.
Parasailing Events 2022
A total of five major Parasailing World Championships and included events will be held in 2022 in Japan, Australia, the United States and the Sultanate of Oman. “Our launch in October to reinstate Para Sailing at LA28 resonated around the world with key sailors, fans and organisers. The campaign has been enthusiastically supported by our Member National Authorities and partners who are critical to our success. “It’s very clear that the sailing community is very committed to the return of sailing to the Paralympic world. But the hard work has only just begun on this road, and 2022 is a crucial year,” continued Graham.
“The number of female sailors taking part in this year’s Hansa Worlds has been particularly encouraging for World Sailing as it supports one of our strategic development priorities to increase female participation globally to 30% by 2023 and, ultimately achieve gender parity.” More than 120 sailors participated in the 2021 Hansa Worlds, representing 23 countries including Oman, Australia, China, Turkey, Greece, Chile, Lithuania, Malta and Namibia, and with a strong female composition in the class single-seater Hansa 303 (20% women) and Hansa Liberty (56% women).
Parasailing development program
In line with the Para World Sailing Strategy 2020-23 and the Federation’s strategic priorities, 2022 will see an increase in the number of Para Sailing Development Program (PDP) clinics in Oman, Hong Kong, USA, Singapore, in South Africa, Italy and Japan. (subject to global pandemic operations in the territory). Since the inception of the PDP strategy in 2017, more than 210 seafarers from 39 countries, spanning 6 continents, have benefited from learnings from these clinics.
“World Sailing has intensified its parasailing development program in specific global territories to promote growth,” Graham said. A strategic priority for World Sailing is to increase global participation to 45 countries across 6 continents by 2023. “This really helps sailors hone their skills before competition and allows participating nations to develop sustainable training programs. With PDP funding provided by World Sailing, we are also helping to bring para-sailors from developing countries to the starting line of competitions as well as in front of the best coaches in the world.”
Making Parasailing Affordable
Affordability is also a key part of World Sailing’s parasailing strategy. The Para World Sailing Committee, alongside the Equipment Committee, has developed a series of cost effective adaptations for Para Sailing equipment to existing Member National Association fleets, which significantly reduce costs and increase inclusiveness in the whole world.
World Sailing’s Massimo Dighe, Para World Sailing Manager, commented: “We will continue to develop our partnerships with classes to provide charter boats at events and increase opportunities for everyone to participate. Our global partnership with GAC Pindar , which now extends to the end of December 2028, will help move charter boats around the world and help countries cost-effectively ship equipment to events.”
The key to all sports on the Paralympic program is that they are representative of society as a whole. “We believe sailing is fully representative and, more importantly, fully inclusive,” Graham said. “Our Para-sailors also represent one of the widest ranges of physical and sensory abilities that exist in world sport. Recognizing and accepting disabilities outside of the Paralympic sphere is not only important for growth and participation in the world , but also for inclusion in mainstream sailing,” Graham concluded.