Nearly a month away from the Va’a World Sprint Championships, training is intensifying for the athletes. On the para-athlete side, the stakes are taken very seriously. With the opening of a new category (VL4), it is 19 world titles that the Tahitian selection intends to win.
Three day intensive course
For three days, the Polynesian Federation of Adapted and Disabled Sports organised a 3-day course. On the program, individual performances in the morning in V1 in Taaone Bay and cohesion in the afternoon in V6 on Motu d’Arue.
To accompany the FPSAH, the LOC provided material, logistical and human support: water, official va’a, boat and rescue slide. The objective? Get as close as possible to the real world championship conditions. The opportunity also for athletes to test their particular equipment and anticipate the very different safety issues for these athletes
If for able-bodied athletes, preparation for a competition is difficult, it is a real event for para-athletes. In addition to surpassing themselves to access performance, they must manage difficulties related to disability, pain and adaptation of equipment to their specific situations. One can only be admiring of these extraordinary athletes.
Christian Chie Ayee – V1 PARA MEN VL2 a competition regular
V1 PARA MEN VL2 a competition regular
I have been practicing Va’a for 2 years, and I have been training for 8 months, it is my first participation in a Va’a Championship. But I have participated in World Championships in athletics (shot put) and these are disciplines that I love very much.
I had to adapt my va’a, I have a seat as well as fixings that allow me to be maintained properly. Today I tested the device on the official va’a, I have a lot of support it is more comfortable and I can hold my oar better.
The choice to play sports must come from oneself. For a few years, we’ve been isolating ourselves from others, but now we’re trying to overcome all this by showing them that we too exist and that we can play sports.
Lea – V1 PARA WOMEN VL1
« With my handicap I can’t hold my oar. At first, we made a typo so that I would be well settled in the va’a and to avoid any problem. Then I made a double paddle because with a single paddle I won’t be able to paddle on both sides and so a double paddle also prevents me from going round in circles.
Today we can see the real body of water with the exact distance and the buoys while on Arue the distances are approximate. We can determine possible hazards during championships such as wind direction, swell.»