Sir Philip Craven, bottom left, has met with senior World Sailing officials to discuss their Para World Sailing Strategic Plan ©World Sailing

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven has met with senior World Sailing officials to discuss the progress of the governing body's Para World Sailing Strategic Plan.

In the visit to the governing body's executive office in Southampton in England, Sir Philip spoke to World Sailing President Kim Andersen, vice-president W Scott Perry and chief executive Andy Hunt.

The plan was unveiled at the Para World Sailing Forum during the November 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona in Spain and outlined the strategic goals and tactics the governing body will adopt until 2020.

Sailing was axed from the Paralympic schedule for Tokyo 2020, with the IPC ruling the sport did not fulfil minimum criteria for worldwide reach.

This dictates that "only team sports widely and regularly practiced in a minimum of 24 countries and three IPC regions will be considered for inclusion in the Paralympic Games and for individual sports a minimum of 32 countries in three IPC regions".

It left Rio 2016 as the sport’s final Paralympics Games unless reinstatement efforts are successful, with Italy’s Massimo Dighe subsequently appointed as Para World Sailing Manager in May 2016 to lead the efforts for 2024.

The plan has four main goals.

The first is to increase worldwide participation to 40 nations on four continents by the end of 2020 while the second is to expand competition, female and youth participation.

Effective marketing and communications to increase engagement with sailors and fans is another key point while the fourth area concerns ensuring that there is a sound governance framework in the discipline.

The plan was revealed at the Para World Sailing Forum at the 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona, Spain today ©World Sailing
The plan was revealed at the Para World Sailing Forum at the 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona, Spain today ©World Sailing

A full update was also given to Sir Philip on the active measures that World Sailing has been undertaking since the release of the plan as well as the latest insights into the worldwide reach of the sport were presented.

In order to continue the development of the sport, World Sailing is actively pursuing a plan to run the 2020 Para World Sailing Championships in Japan, the host for the next edition of the Paralympic Games.

This is a move received positively by Sir Philip, according to World Sailing.

"Para World Sailing is an integral part of our sport and I believe we conveyed both our desire and clear plans for reinstatement to the Paralympic Games in 2024," said Andersen.

"There were encouraging signs from Sir Philip Craven with regards to the level of seriousness that we are treating this issue with and that our actions speak far louder than just plans.

"We showed that the whole of World Sailing is standing behind this programme, not only the Board of Directors but the entire staff and of course all of our member national federations who equally support reinstatement.

"We received positive feedback that we are heading in the right direction and addressing everything that we need to, which was very encouraging.”

As part of the Para World Sailing Strategic Plan, two Paralympic Development Programme clinics have recently been in held in Argentina and Hong Kong.

The next clinic will be held in Gydnia in Poland in July, just before the European Championships, with another in Marseille in France scheduled for October.