World Para Athletics has announced the inclusion of RaceRunning events for athletes with severe co-ordination impairments in competitions from 2018.
A selective RaceRunning programme will be included at the 2018 World Para Athletics European Championships in Germany’s capital Berlin, due to take place from August 20 to 26.
Currently governed by the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA), RaceRunning was first introduced more than 25 years ago in Denmark for athletes with high support needs.
Competitors use a three-wheeled frame to provide support as they race around the track.
World Para Athletics and CPISRA have been in discussions over recent years about increasing the participation of athletes with more severe coordination impairment.
The basis of the current proposal is to recognise RaceRunning as an athletics track discipline and a replacement for the current T31 and T32 classes.
Ryan Montgomery, the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) summer sports director, said: "This announcement is part of the IPC and World Para Athletics commitment to developing Para-athletics opportunities for athletes with high support needs.
"It enhances diversity and inclusion in line with the objectives of the Paralympic Movement.
"We would like to thank CPISRA for its support.
"Over the course of the last years, the current T31 and T32 classes have had no representation or participation in Para-athletics.
"Integrating RaceRunning to the programme of the 2018 Berlin European Championships is an important first move for its further development."
CPISRA President Peter Drysdale added: "RaceRunning athletes and CPISRA are thrilled with the introduction of RaceRunning to the World Para Athletics programme.
"It will provide an unprecedented and very exciting opportunity for this group of athletes with severe impairment.
"We look forward immensely to RaceRunning athletes competing in Berlin and beyond."
It is claimed the growth and development of RaceRunning in recent years, through the partnership between CPISRA and Parasport Denmark, has seen participation grow substantially.
The 2017 CPISRA World Championships, held in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen in July, attracted 100 athletes from 13 countries and saw 20 world records broken.
More than 50 per cent of the participating athletes were female.
Details on events and qualification standards for the 2018 World Para Athletics European Championships are due to be released in the near future.
National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) will be able to licence RaceRunning athletes with World Para Athletics from January 1, 2018 onwards.
After the Championships, further activities are set to be adopted through to 2021 for the development of RaceRunning.
This will include a programme of regional RaceRunning workshops and events.
World Para Athletics intends to work in consultation with NPCs and national athletics associations, in continuous partnership with CPISRA.
Beyond 2021, it is said that the progression of these events and classes will be dependent on similar scrutiny to that of other events and classes currently recognised by World Para Athletics.