Paraclimbing Confirmed for the 2028 Paralympic Sport Program

Posted by Team BMC on 26/06/2024
Image: Sam Pratt

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) celebrates the historic inclusion of Paraclimbing in the LA28 Paralympic Sport Program. This landmark decision represents a significant milestone for the sport, reflecting its growing popularity globally.

Paraclimbing is a popular discipline with an IFSC World Cup series plus world and continental championships.

The GB Paraclimbing Team currently consists of 23 athletes competing across nine classifications. The team has been competing internationally since 2012, supporting athletes to win 25 World Championship medals to date.

 

GB Paraclimbing athlete, James Rudge, said: "The inclusion of paraclimbing in the Paralympics is a massive step for me personally, and I hope it will allow us to be taken more seriously as a community. This could come in the form of increased funding for our athletes, more public awareness and exposure of inclusion within the sport, and more opportunities for paraclimbers to compete.

"While there are many more milestones we must achieve, I believe this will be a giant leap forward in showing the world that climbing is for everyone."

This announcement follows a historic weekend for the GB Climbing team, with Hamish McArthur, Erin McNeice, and Molly Thompson-Smith qualifying for Paris 2024, joining Toby Roberts who qualified in October 2023. The full quota of athletes underscores the immense potential of Britain as a leading climbing nation.

Innsbruck Paraclimbing World Cup 2024. Lena Drapella / IFSC

 

Andrew Parsons, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President, said: “Congratulations to the International Federation of Sport Climbing for the inclusion of Para climbing into the LA28 Paralympic Games. Para climbing is a fast-paced, exhilarating sport that I am sure will attract new audiences to the Paralympic Games, you only have to see the sport’s impact on the Olympic Games programme to understand this.

“By 2028 Para climbing will be the fifth new sport on the Paralympic sport programme in the last 12 years, underlining the IPC’s desire to keep the Paralympic Games fresh and a showcase of the Paralympic Movement’s diversity.

“My thanks go to the LA28 for proposing Para climbing, in doing so they become the first organising committee in history to propose an additional sport to the Paralympic Sport programme.”

GB Paraclimbing team manager, Zoe Spriggins, commented on the inclusion saying: "Whilst paraclimbing is a relatively new sport, we’ve seen a really increase in participation since 2006, with growth an international level across a World Cups and Championships. On UK soil, we’ve also seen an increase in participation at our domestic competitions. Following the announcement this evening I’m really excited to see what the future of the sport holds.”

Paraclimbing now joins the LA28’s Initial Paralympic Sport Program, including Blind Football (Soccer), Boccia, Goalball, Para Archery, Para Athletics, Para Badminton, Para Canoe, Para Cycling, Para Equestrian, Para Judo, Para Powerlifting, Para Rowing, Para Swimming, Para Table Tennis, Para Taekwondo, Para Triathlon, Shooting Para Sport, Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Fencing, Wheelchair Rugby, and Wheelchair Tennis.

Innsbruck Paraclimbing World Cup 2024. Image: Lena Drapella / IFSC

The IFSC has been hosting Para climbing competitions since 2006, when the first international event saw athletes from National Federations compete. Today athletes from 27 different nations regularly compete in the sport which features an annual competition circuit including World Cup events, as well as biennial Para climbing World Championships which run alongside the IFSC Climbing World Championships.

GB Climbing’s Paraclimbing team will now have their opportunity to go for gold at the LA28 Paralympic Games, taking place 15-27 August 2028.

 



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