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Italian Sailing Federation’s future support for disability sailing remains in doubt

Italian Paralympic Committee revealed its intention to cut funding in disability sailing, after Rio 2016, as the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] decided to exclude the sport at the 2020 Summer Paralympics, the Federazione Italiana Vela told ParaSport News.

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Federazione Italiana Vela [FIV] expressed its disappointment about the funding cut from its NPC. “This decision will have repercussions on our training and disability sailing programs,” the federation stated in the email.

“We have supported from high level athletes to beginners. Furthermore we usually assist clubs to start their projects and to organize official regattas as providing our boats without any charge,” FIV explained. It added that elite para-athletes can receive fund to cover all training activities, boats managements and participations in international events including World Championships and Summer Paralympics.

However, it remains uncertain whether the federation can afford to continue this kind of support, after its funding is cut.

FIV was informed about the exclusion from the 2020 Paralympic Games by ISAF and the Italian member of the IFDS Committee.  Although the federation contacted ISAF and the IPC ‘in every possible way’ to get more information regarding the decision, further explanation has not been updated yet.

Officials of FIV thought that reasons of the exclusion are probably related to the participation numbers [stipulated in the IPC handbook] and issues about Racing Rules. They also assumed that the IPC replaced sailing with badminton and taekwondo which are relatively popular in Asian countries, ahead of Tokyo 2020.

FIV said that sailors were also disappointed at the decision. About 100 disability sailors are registered in Italy, but there are more unofficial members who have different types of impairments including amputations and paraplegia competing in various classification, created by IFDS. Italy has sent its team which consisted of around ten sailors to international sailing events in the past six years.

Meanwhile, FIV sent the answers of the IFDS survey on March 27.

About EJ Monica Kim (41 Articles)
EJ Monica Kim completed B.A (Media and Communications) at The University of Sydney. She is a freelance journalist and writer at the International Paralympic Committee [IPC], based in Seoul, Korea.

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