“We hope to see some of the participants in the coming season for the next step of their training to become an international classifier."
Twenty-two participants took part in three days of classifier training in Papendal, the Netherlands, between 10-12 June, learning and being tested in all aspects of classification for IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing, IPC Alpine Skiing and IPC Snowboard.
Thirteen classifiers in alpine skiing and snowboard and nine in biathlon and cross-country skiing were trained by classification experts Sandra Titulaer and Dia Pernot respectively, alongside other educators.
Both groups heard talks on the Paralympic Movement, the Classification Code and eligible impairments before practicing what they had learnt on each other.
They were then shown presentations on the classification decision process, sport class and sport class status and the protest procedure. The second day was highlighted by further practice, this time with athletes from the Dutch team, and a tour of the Olympic and Paralympic Training Centre.
A video observation and race rules session was carried out on the third day before the participants took their exam.
Trainees in the alpine skiing and snowboard course came from China, Japan, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Italy, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, France and the Netherlands, whilst China, Japan, South Korea, Finland, Russia, the USA and Canada sent participants for the biathlon and cross-country skiing course.
Pernot said: “The attendees were very enthusiastic in their learning about classification. Some came for national classification purposes, whilst some want to go on to reach an international standard. We had good discussions, practical training with athletes and video sessions.”
Titulaer said: “We hope to see some of the participants in the coming season for the next step of their training to become an international classifier, where they will attend a classification opportunity as a trainee.”
In the 2016-17 season there will be further classification workshops for those able to continue to an international level, in a season which will also feature World Championships in all three sports.