Adaptive rowing challenges barriers to participation in the sport for individuals with learning, physical and sensory impairments.
In 2002, FISA (the International governing body for rowing) included Adaptive Rowing into the World Rowing Championships with the aim of gaining entry into the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
After 3 successful years of competition, the International Paralympic Committee announced in April 2005 that Adaptive Rowing had been successful in its bid to be included at the 2008 games in Beijing.
The competition takes place in a range of boat classes that incorporates athletes with the ability to use their arms only, trunk and arms, and legs, trunk and arms. More information is available in the adaptive racing section of the web site.
The GB Adaptive Boats made their debut at the 2003 World Rowing Championships held in Milan. Since then the GB adaptive boats have been extremely successful at world level, winning 3 Gold medals and 2 Silver medals in the 4+ LTA and 1x A (Male) respectively out of 12 competing federations.
The World Rowing Championships in 2006 are being held on home water at Dorney Lake, Eton, where the GB boats will be aiming to improve their performances.
The first adaptive and integrative rowing club was affiliated to the ARA in 1998 and there are now a number of clubs that offer, and are indeed dedicated, to adaptive rowing. Advances in the equipment available for adaptive athletes and the ever-increasing number of accessible rowing venues, has meant that rowing is truly becoming a sport for all.
For further details on adapted rowing and some of the equipment available for athletes why not visit the Amateur Rowing Association website.
Text courtesy of tha amateur rowing association
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