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World Para Dance Sport plans to host online competitions in 2021

28 January 2021

World Para Dance Sport sent an newsletter about the online competition in 2021:

As a response to the global restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, and in an attempt to keep athletes and the sport active, World Para Dance Sport is pleased to announce our very first unofficial online competition.

The objective is to enable athletes to continue to perform and compete against each other but in a format which is safe.

Depending on the impact of COVID-19 into 2021, we plan to run a number of unofficial or official online competitions in the coming months, with each one focusing on one style. For our first competition we are inviting athletes who wish to compete in single freestyle. Following this, we will look to run subsequent competitions, providing the best possible virtual competition experience for all athletes. Depending on how the COVID-19 situation persists into 2021 we will endeavour to run as many subsequent events as is feasible.

In order to engage new participants and continue to grow the sport, there will be provision in this competition format for athletes not currently classified to compete in one event category within this unofficial online competition. All such new athletes will need to first be registered and licensed, so that our classification team can assess their medical information and assess whether they are likely to be potentially eligible for the sport if they undergo international classification in future.

Acceptance of a new athlete’s eligibility to compete in this unofficial online competition does not represent a decision as to their eligibility pursuant to the World Para Dance Sport Classification Rules. All new athletes will be required to attend a classification evaluation session as normal in future in order to be classified under the World Para Dance Sport Classification Rules and be assigned a sport class before being allowed to compete in any official World Para Dance Sport international competition.

After discussion during the 2019 Sport Gathering, WPDS has decided to offer the possibility for National Federations to have their athletes who compete using power wheelchairs to register their athletes as well. This is a first step in exploring the potential for the creation of a new event dedicated only to power wheelchair dancers.

In the event that we do not have a sufficient number of participants, WPDS will consider merging the event for new athletes with that for new power wheelchair dancers.

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