So you’re in a wheelchair now what? Row across the ocean, yup that’s right there are now para rowers competing in the Atlantic Challenge from the San Sebastian to Antigua. OK so you don’t have to do that but what’s stopping you giving rowing a try?
The biggest enjoyment para rowers derive? Being free from the chair. On the water you are the same height as everyone else. You compete at the same regattas as able body rowers, including World Championships
Adaptive Rowing (since renamed Para Rowing) was included in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics for the first time and South Africa was a founding participant. SA has attended every Paralympics since and achieved a 5th place in Rio. Sandra Khumlo (AS1xW) hails from KZN she came 10th in Rio
There are 3 categories in Para rowing divided chiefly according to the region the athlete has mobility
- AS (Arms and Shoulders) PR1 – Typical athletes neck injuries
- TA (Trunk and Arms) PR2 – Typical athletes lower back injuries and double amputees
- LTA (Leg Trunk and Arms) PR3 – Typical athletes single amputees, CP, partial sight