World Sailing commits to making sport “truly inclusive” with landmark Para Inclusive Strategy

World Sailing has launched its first Para Inclusive Strategy to guide the growth of the sport through to 2029 and facilitate its return to the Paralympic Games. The strategy emphasises the expansion of Para Sailing by working with Member National Authorities (MNAs), major events and the sport's global governing structure to create a more inclusive environment and increase international participation.

David Graham, CEO of World Sailing, said: "We are committed to the development of Para Inclusive Sailing and are seeking reinstatement to the Para Inclusive Sailing. The Para Inclusive Strategy provides a clear roadmap for our members, clubs, class associations and sailors to maximise the potential of Para Sailing and increase global participation. Our vision is for sailing to be accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or experience.”

Hannah Stodel, World Sailing's Para Sailing Manager and a four-time Paralympian, highlighted the transformative potential of the strategy: "This is a chance for the sport to redefine its engagement with sailors, remove barriers to participation and make sailing truly inclusive. Sailing empowers disabled people to live fuller lives and this strategy is about laying the foundations to increase participation, promote inclusivity and achieve our goal of returning to the Paralympic Games.”

Stodel also noted the success of Para Sailing's inclusion in the Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague and the upcoming busy season for Para World Sailing and national Para Inclusive Sailing events, which marks an exciting time for the sport.

Over the past five years, there has been a 30% increase in the number of nations participating in international Para sailing competitions. Progress includes the development of resources and regional centres through the Inclusive Development Programme.

Over the next five years, World Sailing plans to:

- Maintain its global reach to include well beyond the 32 countries across three IPC regions required for Paralympic inclusion.

- Create a comprehensive quadrennial competition calendar for Para Inclusive events.

- Include Para Inclusive events in the World Sailing Championships in Valencia (2026) and Gdynia (2027).

- Align with the IPC Athlete Classification Code while continuing to innovate.

- Maintain high standards of governance, including a robust anti-doping programme that includes both education and testing.

World Sailing is also committed to implementing the Safesport programme at all Para Inclusive events to ensure the sport is welcoming and safe for all participants.

Founded in 1907, World Sailing is the world governing body for the sport of sailing, officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). World Sailing is made up of 147 Member National Authorities, the national governing bodies for sailing around the world and 119 World Sailing Class Associations.