On Monday, Portsmouth North MP and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government Penny Mordaunt tabled a petition in House of Parliament to reinstate sailing on the program for the Tokyo hosted 2020 Paralympics. It was supported by Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage and Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner. Mordaunt’s document asks the British government to “prevail” upon the International Paralympic Committee to reconsider their decision.
Mordaunt was quoted by the Portsmouth News as saying, “It is outrageous that such an important sport should be dropped from the programme. […] We owe it to these committed sportsmen and sportswomen to ensure they can compete at this level. […] This issue has huge support in Parliament and from the minister. […] The Olympics and Paralympics are very special competitions, and for sailing not to be represented is intolerable.”
The petition had over 15,000 signatories. As of earlier today, the online petition had reached over 17,000 signatures. It was started by Will Matthews, a 16-year-old sailor and member of Youth Parliament for the Isle of Wight,
Sailing was cut from the Paralympic program at a meeting of the IPC Governing Board on January 31 and February 1. Craig Spence, the IPC’s Communication and Media Director, said in a letter to Geoff Holt published on February 3 of the decision, “Herein lies an opportunity for both Sailing and Football 7-a-side to regroup, reform, rejuvenate and return with an improved proposition when we launch the next review cycle in 2018 (for the 2024 Games).”