Paralympic Games, adaptive
rowing will celebrate a
decade of competition since
it was introduced at the 2002
World Rowing Championships in Seville,
Spain. With the extra boost of support and
attention that has come with Paralympic
status, the sport is expected to continue its
rapid growth with more global participation,
more equipment advancements and faster
and tighter racing.
The FISA Adaptive Commission has been working hard
to increase the sport’s popularity, Ho adds, especially in
Asia, South America and Africa with the aim of better
future representation among the five continental areas.
“We look forward to having more countries take part
in the qualifying regattas in 2011 and 2012.”
Tom Aggar of Great Britain, t wo-time World
Champion and World Best Time holder in
the arms and shoulders men’s single sculls.
In just one year since the inaugural Paralympic Regatta
in Beijing, adaptive racing raised the standard at the
2009 World Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland,
with new World Best Times in four events. FISA also
introduced a fifth event for intellectually disabled
(ID) rowers in anticipation of the re-inclusion of ID
classification at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
The inclusion of the legs, trunk and arms mixed
coxed four for rowers with an intellectual disability
(LTAIDMix4+) in the London 2012 Paralympic
Games is subject to a process taking place in 2010.
“The International Rowing Federation (FISA), the
International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the
International Federation for sport for athletes with
an intellectual disability (INAS-FID) are working
closely on this,” says Fay Ho, Chair of FISA’s Adaptive
Commission. “We are confident that there will be
a sport-specific classification system for ID rowing
inclusion at the 2012 Games in London.”
Ho predicts a mix of returning champions and
newcomers to the scene, particularly the young and
strong Tom Aggar, the Paralympic gold medallist from
Great Britain in the arms and shoulders men’s single
sculls (ASM1x). The boat class with the most potential
for rapid competitive growth in coming years is the
legs, trunk and arms mixed coxed four (LTAMix 4+).
This category can include the minimum disability
group of rowers and is the most accessible with no
specific adaptive rowing boat necessary (a coxed four
shell is used).
While equipment and adaptive boats for the arms and
shoulders and the trunk and arms categories presents
more challenges for accessibility, the cooperation with
current boat builders has been enhanced since 2009,
and the regulation on the weight of adaptive boats has
been revised to reflect the boat weight that adaptive
rowers are using at the World Rowing Championships.
Looking ahead to London 2012, adaptive rowers can
expect the Paralympic Regatta to build on lessons learnt
in Beijing and receive support from Great Britain’s