After a week where most British para sports lost all their funding for future years one sport remains well funded, sailing. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has asked for individuals to apply for para sailing grants specifically in the 2.4mR one-person keelboat event.
The decision seems interesting on the surface after sailing has been removed from the Paralympic program for Tokyo 2020. But RYA says it is looking to grow the sport of para sailing to get the sport back in the program for 2024 so these athletes will be looking at a long term commitment.
This grant process forms the start of a pilot program to look in to para sailing with the RYA looking to improve British para sailing. That will be a twofold process with improving the quantity of races for athletes while also improving individual athletes to compete at the highest level.
A major part of this pilot program will see RYA supporting four major international events, sanctioned by World Sailing (the governing body behind sailing). This will allow several nations to compete in a new event on the circuit, and will thus meet RYA’s goal of developing not just British para sailing but also world sailing as they seek a return to the Paralympic Games.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is considering reinstatement of the sport should the sport meet some standards. One of those standards will be the number of nations competing in the world cup events, which is part of why RYA is supporting these events in order to attract more nations and boost sailing’s chances of reinstatement.
The Grant funding will give one or two sailors to a series of international events from April through to July. The first event will be the sailing world cup in April followed by the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland in May, the Para World Championships in Germany in June and the Para European Championships in July. Applications will have to be made for each individual event, while for the events after May a qualifying series will be used to find the best athletes. Those wishing to apply should email firstname.lastname@example.org