Paracanoe strengthens classifier numbers

The International Canoe Federation has conducted a successful workshop for 11 prospective paracanoe classifiers from five different countries, with all participants now equipped with the skills to classify athletes at a national level.

The three-day course was hosted by the Portuguese Paralympic Committee in Montemor-o-Velho, with participants from Poland, Italy, Spain, Russia and Portugal.

Classification determines the sport class in which an impaired athlete will compete, and takes into consideration the medical condition of the athlete, and evaluates their functional abilities through a series of physical tests.

Evaluations are carried out by two classifiers. A medical classifier assesses physical capabilities, while a technical classifier assesses the ability to paddle in a kayak or va’a.

Fatima Fernandez, the ICF’s paracanoe head of classification, said classifier training is based over five levels, with certification as an international classifier the final step.

“Having knowledgeable and well trained National classifiers allows to have the same standards during a national classification and an international classification,” she said.

“Clear information, where to find the rules, and all the documents that are on the ICF website – transparency with our athletes, NF and national classifier is key for having their trust in our way to evaluate their sport class”

“Each step, we explain how to do the tests, how to score, we talk about specific experience we had before, we do the test with or without the athlete.”

ICF paracanoe has conducted several workshops in the past two years, in Thailand, England, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Chile and now Portugal.

“We are working to develop the sport, to have more people involved in different levels, to understand the process,” Ms Fernandez said.

“It is really important to give the correct information, the processes and the proper understanding of how the sport is developing to coaches, team leader, Nfs and other persons involved in paracanoe,”

More ICF paracanoe classifier workshops will be held in 2020.

Paracanoe classifiers workshop Portugal

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