World Sailing is publishing today its Para World Sailing Strategic Plan for 2017-2020 as the sport seeks re-introduction into the Paralympic Sports Programme for 2024.
Released today (Tuesday 8 November) at the Para World Sailing Forum at the 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona, Spain, the Strategic Plan outlines the strategic goals and tactics the world governing body will adopt until 2020.
World Sailing President Carlo Croce said, “Sailing’s removal from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Sports Programme in January 2015 deeply saddened the sailing community. It was a great loss for Paralympic sport as a whole because Paralympic sailing allows a multitude of disabilities to compete on a level playing field.
“Action needed to be taken by World Sailing and the strategic goals that we have outlined today will ensure that sailing can put a strong bid together for re-introduction into the Paralympic Sports Programme for 2024, backed up by a doubling in investment in Para World Sailing activities by World Sailing over the next four years.”
The Para World Sailing Strategic Plan has four main goals:
1. Increase worldwide participation to 40 nations on 4 continents by the end of 2020
2. Expand competition, female and youth participation
3. Deliver effective marketing & communications to increase engagement with Para World Sailors and sailing fans
4. Ensure that there is a sound governance framework
The priorities and tactics to achieve the four main goals are laid out in detail within the strategic plan. The overarching aim of the plan is to ensure World Sailing presents a strong bid to the International Paralympic Committee for re-introduction into the 2024 Paralympic Games and future editions in the Spring of 2018.
Para World Sailing Manager Massimo Dighe, a London 2012 Paralympian, presented the strategic plan to an online audience and delegates in attendance at the Para World Sailing Forum, an open event at the 2016 Annual Conference.
On the release of the plan, Dighe said, “The IPC’s decision to remove sailing from the Paralympic Games Sports Programme was taken mainly because the sport did not meet the criteria laid out in the IPC Handbook’s minimum criteria for worldwide reach.
“The sport needed to react and take a proactive, forward thinking approach to reinstate and ensure a sustainable future for Paralympic sailing at future Games. We have a clear vision for growth and initiatives such as the Para World Sailing Development Program will play a major role in growing the sport in new nations.
“In addition, we will continue to work closely with the IPC, support and guide our stakeholders and find ways to develop and innovate Paralympic sailing.
“Although the removal of Paralympic sailing was of a great disappointment, we now have an opportunity under a new strategic vision to grow the sport, innovate and promote.”
The Para World Sailing Strategy Forum opened with an extended video of experienced disabled yachtsman Geoff Holt MBE laying out his views on Paralympic sailing and the importance of the discipline. Dighe’s presentation followed and the Forum will continue through the afternoon with keynote speeches from Ms. Külli Haav (Noblessner Yachtclub Sailing School, Estonia), Sarah Treseder (CEO RYA) and Ms. Emma Hallén (Trim the Sails Foundation, Sweden). You can follow the session here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpvVne1nf7s
In addition, broadcaster Alec Wilkinson will host an interactive Q&A session which will bring the Forum to a close and those watching online are encouraged to engage with the specialist panel by submitting their questions using the conference hashtag #OurSustainableFuture.