A 12-month study will examine the health of Para-canoe athletes ©Getty Images

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has partnered with the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH) to study the health and injuries of Para-canoe athletes.

It is hoped that the study can contribute to making the sport safer and extend paddlers' careers.

The study will run for 12 months.

"In order to be able to compete and perform on an international level, an athletes needs to be healthy and free from injury," ICF Paracanoe Committee chairman John Edwards said.

Para-canoe made its Olympic debut At Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
Para-canoe made its Olympic debut At Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

"There is very little research about health, illnesses and injuries among internationally competing paracanoe athletes. 

"Our research aims to find out more about athlete health, illnesses and injuries, which will include pre-participation health evaluations among paracanoe athletes worldwide.

"The goal is to look for injury and illness prevalence patterns in paracanoe athletes in order to develop prevention strategies."

The ICF and GIH are to send out electronic questionnaires to top-level athletes and physicians.

They stressed that data collected in response will be anonymous and confidential.

Para-canoe made its Paralympic debut at Rio 2016 and is on the Tokyo 2020 programme, with those Games now delayed until 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis.