Canadian Paralympic Committee names a Classification Taskforce to support
Paralympic athletes going for gold

OTTAWA, Oct. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) announced today a seven member Classification Taskforce to lead the development of a Canadian National Classification Strategy. This unique process for high performance athletes with a disability is critical to effectively preparing them to win in international and Paralympic competition.

Classification provides a structure for competition in disabled sport to ensure that competition between athletes with a physical disability is equitable, and based on athletic ability and performance. The classification process determines which athletes are eligible to compete and systematically groups them into a competitive "sport class," according to their physical or sensorial function, in and out of competition, in a given sport. It may include a technical assessment.

The taskforce, led by co-chairs Terrie Moore and Elisabeth Walker-Young, will enhance Canada's capacity to provide athletes with a disability with a service that is integral to and uniquely Paralympic. Members of the taskforce include:

    
    -   Terrie Moore - Executive Director of SportAbility/CP Sports
        Association of BC, as well as a Senior International Technical
        Classifier, an International Cycling Union (UCI) Cycling Classifier,
        and a member of both the IPC Classification Committee and the
        Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association
        (CPISRA).

    -   Elisabeth Walker-Young - Paralympic Classification Specialist and
        retired Paralympic athlete with provincial sport administration and
        management experience.

    -   David Greig - National coach responsible for talent development in
        Para-athletics.

    -   Celine Feagan - Para-Nordic 2010 Biathlon Technical Coach,
        Physiotherapist and National and International Para-Nordic
        Classifier.

    -   Jane Blaine - Executive Director of the Canadian Blind Sports
        Association (CBSA), as well as a Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports
        Association (CCPSA) Classifier, a member of the International Blind
        Sports Classification Working Group and Chair of the IPC Swimming
        Committee.

    -   Courtney Pollock - Physiotherapist, International Rowing Classifier
        and Canadian Track and Field Classifier.

    -   Dhiren Naidu - Physiatrist and CPISRA Senior International
        Classifier.
    

The taskforce will be responsible for identifying gaps in the Canadian classification system and making recommendations for the development of a Canadian Classification Strategy. The process will engage a wide range of stakeholders, including national and provincial/territorial sport organizations, disabled sport organizations, coaches, sport leaders, partners and programs, officials, classifiers and athletes. An effective National Classification strategy will ensure the success of Canadian Paralympic athletes on the world stage continues well beyond the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, as well as at World Cup, World Championship and Para-pan competition.

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Committee ("the CPC") is a non-profit, private organisation with 43 member sports organisations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The CPC is responsible for creating an optimal high-performance environment for Canadian Paralympic athletes to win at Paralympic and ParaPanAmerican Games. By supporting Canadian Paralympic athletes and promoting their success, the CPC inspires all Canadians with a physical disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organisations. The Canadian Paralympic Committee is currently preparing for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, taking place from March 12 - 21, 2010 and where 55 Canadian Paralympic athletes will compete in Para-Alpine skiing, Para-Nordic skiing (cross-country skiing and biathlon), sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)

For further information: For further information: Andrée Dion, Communications Coordinator, Canadian Paralympic Committee, adion@paralympic.ca, (613) 569-4333 x228


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