By Duncan Mackay

Wheelchair dance sport 2August 5 - Athletes competing in wheelchair dance sport will be allowed to have advertising on their competition dress and equipment for the first time, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced today. 

The IPC, the international federation for wheelchair dance, hopes that the landmark ruling will help boost participation in the sport. 

"These guidelines have been developed for World Championships and other international wheelchair dance competitions, and we think that allowing sponsorship logos to be placed on athlete clothing and their equipment will ensure that more competitors are financially able to travel to these events," said Alexis Schäfer, the IPC's commercial and marketing director. 

"We also hope that with the extra support athletes will gain from sponsorship, that they will be able to dedicate more of their time to training.

"It will greatly improve their chances of having a successful competition and I would encourage potential sponsors to take a close look at this hugely popular and compelling sport which draws in audiences from all over the world."

Wheelchair dancing started in Sweden in 1968, originally for recreation or rehabilitation, with the first competition held in 1975.

The first international competition was also held in Sweden, in 1977.

Several regional and international competitions followed and the first World Championship was held in Japan in 1998.

The next major event is the Continents Cup, due to take place in Moscow on August 31 and September 1.

A total of 150 athletes from more than 20 countries are expected to compete.

For more details on the new regulations click here

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