Kim Andersen hopes sailing will return to the Paralympic programme at Paris 2024 ©World Sailing

World Sailing President Kim Andersen has called for the organisation to continue their “strong momentum” as they seek to have the sport included on the Paris 2024 Paralympic programme.

Para-sailing was axed from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sport programme, along with football seven-a-side.

Para-badminton and taekwondo were included for the first time in their place.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) deemed sailing did not fulfil their handbook's 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".

Efforts to see the sport reinstated for the Games ultimately failed.

The IPC decision prompted the governing body to launch a Para World Sailing strategic plan in an attempt to regain their place on the programme.

Speaking at the World Sailing Council meeting in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Andersen stated that the organisation “must also continue the strong momentum, to make sure that Para Sailing is fully integrated in our framework and has the strongest possible bid for returning to the Paralympics in 2024.”

Para-sailing appeared at Rio 2016, but was axed for the Tokyo 2020 programme ©Getty Images
Para-sailing appeared at Rio 2016, but was axed for the Tokyo 2020 programme ©Getty Images

World Sailing's strategic 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.

World Sailing also appointed Italy’s Massimo Dighe subsequently appointed as Para World Sailing Manager in May 2016 to lead the efforts for 2024.

The Paris 2024 Paralympic sport programme is expected to be finalised by the IPC in January 2019, with an application process set to begin shortly.