Following the decision of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), made on 3 February 2015, not to include sailing on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sports programme, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with the support of the National Sailing Organisations have been working tirelessly to reinstate sailing at the earliest opportunity. Yachting Australia (YA) has been fully supportive of the ISAF initiatives. In addition YA and the Australian Sailing Team conducted a social media campaign; “Let’s get Sailing back into the 2020 Paralympic Games – spread the word to #ReinstateSailing.”
The ISAF Executive Committee took the lead and full responsibility for discussions with the IPC and initiated a process to develop a programme for Paralympic sailing in ISAF member nations that currently do not have any such pathways. The aim is to create a cohesive and effective development programme that will quickly make a significant difference on a global scale. YA has provided initial support and feedback on these early proposals and will be continuing to work with ISAF on the development of the program.
ISAF has also reconstituted the Disabled Sailing Committee (DSC) by naming Betsy Alison (USA) as the new Chairman and introducing five new DSC members from China, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and David Staley from Australia, as well as applying for IPC membership.
Paralympic class sailing is included in the ISAF Sailing World Cup and ISAF has introduced prize money and broadcast coverage to ensure alignment with the Olympic disciplines and to promote disabled sailing.
On the back of formally taking over the management of Disabled sailing, ISAF has made the decision to press the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to add Disabled Sailing to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games – a decision which Yachting Australia and its Australian Sailing Team strongly support.
See ISAF statement here (1 June 2015): www.sailing.org/news/40196.php
We welcome ISAF’s decision to build the case for Disabled Sailing’s inclusion in Tokyo 2020 and will support them wherever we can. This includes promoting and showcasing our Paralympic class athletes and their performances, as winning two gold and one bronze medal at the recent Delta Llloyd Regatta as well as supporting ISAF’s PR activities in the lead up to Australia hosting the IFDS Disabled Sailing Combined World Championships in Melbourne in December.
In addition, we continue with our plans and support of our Paralympic sailors to achieve the best results at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Doing our best at Rio will influence the future of Paralympic sailing and importantly supports the wider disabled sailing community.
More about the Australian Sailing Team’s Paralympic boat classes: http://www.australiansailing.org/teams/paralympic/
– Cora Zillich