Para Canoe

T& T Canoe/Kayak Federation

In 2009 the International Canoe Federation (ICF) launched  the Para-Canoe Development Programme in a bid to expand the sport of canoeing to the global community of people with a disability; ultimately the ambition was to have Para-Canoe (formerly Paddle Ability) included in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The road to Rio was not a painless one. After two years of hard campaigning Para-Canoe became a Paralympic sport. On 14th December 2010 the International Paralympic Committee voted to add Para-Canoe (and Para-Triathlon) to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, making it one of 22 sports to be contested at the Games.

Para-Canoeing is a sport that distinguishes itself from other Paralympic sports because it is exactly like regular canoeing and it gives people with various physical challenges the opportunity to enjoy the sport at all levels: club, regional, national and international. There are many subcategories of the event given the degree of the competitor’s disability and it is likely that all of these categories will be added to the Games selection.
The ICF recognises three classes for Para-Canoe (LTA, TA, A) while the IVF recognises six but refinements are being worked on to bring the IVF and the ICF Systems into alignment with IPC standards.

The following is a blend of the two classification systems.
LTA — IVF 5 & 6 Point Paddler
The LTA Class is for paddlers with a disability who have functional use of their legs, trunk and arms for paddling, and who can apply force to the foot board or the seat to propel the boat. Eligible LTA paddlers may typically have a disability equivalent to one of the following: 
Amputee, Neurological Impairment equivalent to incomplete lesion at S1, Cerebral Palsy Class 8 (CPISRA)

LTA paddlers should meet the minimum disability requirements, which is as follows. A full loss of three fingers on one hand, or at least a tarsal metatarsal amputation of the foot, or the loss of ten points on one limb or fifteen points across two limbs when assessed using the Functional Classification Test as set out in the Classification Application Form for Physical Disabilities and the ICF Classifiers Instructors Manual. 

TA – IVF 4 Point Paddler
The TA Class is for those with use of the trunk and arms. They are unable to apply continuous, controlled force to the footboard or seat to propel the boat due to a weakened function of the lower limbs. TA paddlers typically have a disability equivalent to at least one of these: 

Bilateral around knee amputation or significantly impaired quadriceps, Neurological impairment equivalent to a complete lesion at L3 level, or an incomplete lesion at L1 Cerebral Palsy Class 5 (CP-ISRA)
A – IVF 1 – 3 Point Paddler
The A Class is for paddlers who have no trunk function, or those who have shoulder function only. An A-Class paddler is able to apply force predominantly using the arms and/or shoulders and is likely to have poor sitting balance. 
Eligible A-Class paddlers may typically have a disability equivalent to at least one of the following: 
Cerebral Palsy Class 4 (CP-ISRA), Neurological Impairment with a complete lesion at T12 level, or an incomplete lesion at T10 
To offer Para-Canoe athletes the opportunity to compete in elite competitions and acquire experience at high levels, paracanoeing has been included in some major competitions and will be at the 2011 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships. The 2012 Para-Canoeing World Championship will be organised in conjunction with the World Cup. As 2012 is an Olympic year there will be no Canoe Sprint World Championships. This means there is the potential to use the full 8-event programme (which includes the Men’s and Women’s K2 and V2 events). As the sport grows, more events will be considered. The ICF could introduce doubles and mixed doubles events, additional distances and additional classifications if there is enough interest.
For more information on Para-Canoe, visit the ICF website at

Trinidad and Tobago Canoe/Kayak Federation:

President: Merryl See Tai

Secretary:  Margaret Wong Chong