CAROLINE CALLS FOR REVIEW OF PARALYMPIC SAILING DECISION

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage today voiced her strong concerns about the International Paralympic Committee's decision to exclude sailing from the 2020 Games in Tokyo during Questions to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Caroline's Gosport constituency has a very strong marine community which is outraged about this significant decision which could hold back the sport just as it is gaining real momentum.

Caroline asked:

"Does the Minister agree with me that the decision of the International Paralympic Committee to exclude sailing from the Tokyo Games in 2020 is not only an enormous setback for this important British sport but will also rob us of the next generation of inspiring sailing sportsmen like Fareham's Geoff Holt?"

The Minister responsible, Helen Grant MP said on this issue:

"Although this is a decision for the International Paralympic Committee, I recently met with the Chief Executive of the BPA to discuss this very issue. Britain is a great sailing nation and I can understand completely the frustration of our Paralympic sailors. I therefore intend to speak to the IPC Chairman, President Sir Philip Craven in the very near future."

Speaking outside the Chamber, Caroline said:

"Given the huge success of the sailing events held off the south coast for the 2012 Paralympics, I firmly believe that the sport should remain on the agenda.

Here in the Gosport area, there is a wide range of sailing opportunities available for people of all ages and abilities; having something to aspire to such as the Paralympics is really important so I feel strongly that the sport should be reinstated for future Games."