- World Sailing, the global sports federation, has set out a series of strategic priorities to support growth and meet the key criteria set by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games.
- The Federation aims to increase global participation to 45 nations across 6 continents by the end of 2023.
- Launch of the #SailtoLA “Back the Bid” campaign supported by world-renowned sailors and sports personalities.
LONDON, ENGLAND (October 26, 2021) – World Sailing, the international federation for the sport of sailing recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), today officially launched its campaign for sailing to be reinstated in the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles (USA) in 2028.
The governing body has set out a set of strategic priorities to support the growth of the sport by 2023:
- Increase global participation to 45 nations on 6 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.
Focusing on diversity, inclusion, affordability, development and increasing the number of open sailing and para-sailing events are all part of World Sailing’s framework to build on the success of para-sailing. sail.
“We know that other major sports seeking reinstatement are already developing their bid plans,”commented David Graham, CEO of World Sailing. “We are aware that IPC President Andrew Parsons has already publicly stated that the IPC will consider potential “new sports” following the successful introduction of new youth-focused sports at Tokyo 2020. We are on the right track. path to achieve our strategic priorities in 2023 and we are not taking anything for granted.
The growth of Para sailing today is accelerating at an unprecedented rate:
“Over the past five years, the number of nations with para-sailors participating in international para-sailing competitions has increased by 30%,” said Graham. “Our international parasailing athletes are some of the most accomplished sailors in the world and are inspiring the next generation.” At the recent Hansa World Championships (October 2-9), 181 para-sailors representing 23 nations from 6 continents, including Asia and Africa, participated.
World Sailing believes it is important to broaden the range of types of physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities who participate in sailing. 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. “World Sailing and our global sailing community do not discriminate between able-bodied and invalid athletes – we all compete together, by the same rules. What really matters are personal skills,” commented Spanish para-sailor Gabriel Barroso de María. “The inclusiveness of sailing stands out as a powerful lesson for all of our society: equality is possible on the water and should be everywhere else.
“In a parasports landscape that feels increasingly exclusive to me, and many others, with quadriplegia and minimal finger dexterity, sailing is different – I can start any race and be competitive.”
As the sport’s popularity continues to grow around the world, World Sailing is seeking to reinstate para sailing at the Paralympic Games after its failed bid to reinstate Paris 2024.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has yet to confirm the bidding process for LA28, but World Sailing is proactively launching its campaign to galvanize support and build on the growth of Para sailing: “It is a core task of World Sailing to reintegrate Paralympic sailing into the Paralympic Games,” said Quanhai Li, president of World Sailing. “We need to proactively coordinate with the International Paralympic Committee to better understand the standards and entry requirements, and I am in direct contact with the IPC President on this as we continue our work towards re-entry into the Los Angeles Games in 2028.”
The 2028 Summer Paralympics, known as LA28, will be the first to be held in the United States since 1996, when parasailing made its debut at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games as a demonstration sport. Parasailing has been a successful Paralympic sport for five consecutive Games, from Sydney 2000 to Rio 2016.
“The Paralympic Games were the pinnacle of the sport of para-sailing and it was where athletes from around the world aspired to represent their country and compete,” said Rio 2016 U.S. Paralympian Ryan Porteous in the SKUD- 18 mixed two. “It is important that para-sailing is reintegrated into the Paralympic Games and that these goals and dreams become possible and come to fruition again. Para-sailing has a rich history at the Games alongside its Olympic counterpart; reinforcing the meaning “in parallel of the Paralympic Games Parasailing is also one of the most inclusive adaptive sports where all athletes compete on an equal footing.
“Growing up, I was a competitive sailor,” Porteous continued. “After sustaining a spinal cord injury, para-sailing was there to not only get me back on the water, but to reintroduce me to an active, healthy lifestyle, competitive sport, and most importantly, to have fun, which was difficult to plan for as a new wheelchair user”.
In 2015, it was announced that para-sailing was being withdrawn from Tokyo 2020, along with seven-a-side football, in favor of badminton and taekwondo. A total of 22 sports were contested at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
World Sailing submitted a strong reinstatement offer for Paris 2024, but this was rejected. The IPC has decided that the Paris 2024 program will remain unchanged from Tokyo with 22 sports disciplines.
World Sailing is now reinforcing its commitment to see para-sailing reintroduced to not only meet but exceed the criteria set by the IPC.