The International Archery Federation (FITA) Para-Archery Committee has just been elected and has begun the year with many plans over the next months after meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The first meeting of the year had in attendance new Para-Archery Committee members Rita Van Driel (Chairperson), Pauline Betteridge, Carole Hicks, Marco Carpignano and Hans-Peter Werlen. FITA Secretary General Tom Dielen and FITA Events Director Juan Carlos Holgado were also at the first part of the meeting to discuss upcoming competitions.
One of the important issues discussed was the international calendar for Para Archery tournaments. There will be a total of three World Ranking Tournaments per continent per year. The process to be followed to gain World Ranking status for Para Archery tournaments is the same as that for general tournaments. The national archery association of the country must apply to its Continental Association, which decides approval and then sends the application to FITA regardless of its decision. FITA will then decide its approval, and the tournament will be listed on the FITA Calendar as a World Ranking Tournament or simply as an international tournament.
Additionally, discussions were carried out around communications with Member Associations in order to better inform them in this area of Para Archery, which will be new to many of them. It was agreed that there would be regular communication from the Para Archery Committee in each World Archery Newsletter, as well as special items highlighted on the FITA website.
It was also decided during the meeting in January that there is a change to the way athletes can qualify for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The new system includes a qualifying tournament, with more information to follow soon from the Para Archery Committee.