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Adaptive Rowing

Adaptive rowing is rowing or sculling for rowers with a disability who meet the criteria set out in the Adaptive rowing classification regulations. Adaptive implies that the equipment is “adapted” to the user to practice the sport, rather than the sport being “adapted” to the user.

The International Rowing Federation (FISA) is the sole world governing body for Rowing, and the sport is practiced by athletes in 24 countries. It was introduced into the Paralympic programme in 2005 and will hold its first Paralympic events in Beijing in 2008.

Adaptive rowing is open to male and female rowers, and is currently divided into four boat classes which are part of the World Championships programme: LTA4+, TA2x, AW1x and AM1x.The LTA4+ and TA2x are mixed gender boats. Races are held over 1000 metres for all four events (although LTA4+ was raced over 2000m until the 2005 World Rowing Championships).


A. LTA (Legs, trunk and arms)
The LTA class is for rowers with disability but who have the use of their legs, trunk and arms and who can utilise the sliding seat. LTA rowers must meet minimum disability requirements in at least one of the following three disability groups:
(1) Intellectual disability
(2) Visual impairment
(3) Physical Disability

B. TA (Trunk and Arms)
The TA class is for rowers who have trunk movement but who are unable to use the sliding seat because of significantly weakened function of the lower limbs as defined below.
Eligible TA rowers would typically have a minimum disability equivalent to at least one of the following:
• Bilateral around knee amputation, or impaired quadriceps, or
• Neurological impairment equivalent to a complete lesion at L3 level, or an incomplete lesion at L1, or
• Combination of the above such as one leg with around knee amputation and one leg with quadriceps impairment; or
• have been classified by the international sports federation for athletes with cerebral palsy (CP-ISRA) as eligible to be in CP Class 5.

C. A (Arms Only)
The A class is for rowers who have no or minimal trunk function (i.e. shoulder function only). An A class rower is able to apply force using the arms and/or shoulders only. The classifiers shall adopt a Functional Classification Test in their assessment process, using the scale set out therein.:
Eligible rowers would typically have a minimum disability equivalent to at least one of the following:
• Cerebral Palsy Class 4 (CP-ISRA); or
• Neurological Impairment with a complete lesion at T12 level, or an incomplete lesion at T10, or
• Functional impairment of rectus abdominis (Beevor’s sign).

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