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Classification Opportunity

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Disability Parallel Success

30 April 2010

UKA has clarified the classification requirements for athletes with a disability following a detailed consultation with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and has set up an official classification opportunity in June.

With only eight months to go until the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, UKA has clarified four types of classification for athletes with a disability. In order for elite athletes to qualify for the World Championships and subsequently the London 2012 Paralympic Games, they must have an IPC licence.

To facilitate all of the above, UKA will host an official IPC Classification Clinic in Cardiff linked to the Welsh National Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials on 12th/13th June.

Due to the limited number of classifiers around the globe, only one IPC Classification Clinic is likely to take place per year in the UK and as such, it is important that any potential international athletes with a disability – i.e. those who are likely to be considered for GB &NI selection for a forthcoming major championships – are, by invitation from UKA and the relevant NDSO’s, given the opportunity to attend and to be appropriately classified ahead of the competition.

The four types of classification and a brief description are as follows:

  • National Disability Sport Organisation (NDSO) – classifications conducted by NDSO classifiers;

  • National – classifications conducted by UKA appointed classifiers;

  • IPC Review – classifications conducted by an IPC approved classification panels which remain under review until such time as they are seen again by another IPC approved panel;

  • IPC Confirmed – permanent classifications conducted by an IPC approved classification panel.

The IPC Licence, which is essential for an athlete’s performances to be considered for the IPC World Ranking list and qualification for the World Championships, entitles an athlete to the following:

  • Ability to compete in all IPC approved competitions (classification dependent);

  • Ability to have performances from the IPC approved competitions ranked on IPC World Rankings (classification dependent);

  • Ability to achieve IPC World Championships Qualification Standards in IPC approved competitions (classification dependent).

Detailed factsheets on both classification and licensing are available to download now through the following link.

Linked to the above, the UKA selection policy for the 2010 IWAS Junior World Championships (22-27 August) has also been announced and can be viewed through the following link.

Peter Eriksson, UKA’s Head Coach – Paralympics, said: “Classification is a complex and often emotive issue that we continue to work on in cooperation with the IPC and our NDSO’s. As an NGB, we are committed to providing classification opportunities around the UK in the run up to New Zealand 2011 and London 2012, and hope that by doing so, we can allow athletes to concentrate fully on their preparations for these competitions. Correct and permanent IPC classifications are key to ensuring medal success in future competitions, and we believe that the work we are doing to implement a proper classification structure within the UK will also benefit the sport in the long term.”