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The Annual IFSC Plenary Assembly, which took place earlier this month in Tokyo, Japan, saw two key decisions made concerning the progression and development of Paraclimbing moving forward.

On Fri 15th March at the Pre-Plenary Assembly, the IFSC Paraclimbing Development Officer presented the Paraclimbing Development Plan to all Member Federations. The results of 5 months of interviews and elaboration of data allowed the IFSC to put in place a strategic plan with the objective to:

• Acknowledge the strength and importance of the Paraclimbing community;
• Give credibility to the Paraclimbing movement;
• Professionalise the sport by striving to meet the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) standards, to make the sport worth to be considered among the candidates for future Paralympic Games (i.e. Paralympics 2028).

The Paraclimbing Development Plan was voted unanimously by the Plenary Assembly 2019, and can be summarised as follows:

• The suspension of the Paraclimbing Commission, to allow for its reorganisation;
• The request to delegate to the Executive Board the election of the new Paraclimbing Committee, whose members shall be ratified by the PA 2020;
• The approval of the budget for Paraclimbing activities in 2019 of € 60,000;
• Draft Paraclimbing Regulations (to be found in the document as appendix);
• The appointment of a Paraclimbing Officer.

Yuji Hirayama, JMSCA Vice President, presented the plans for the IFSC World Championships 2019 hosted by JMSCA in Hachioji, informing the Plenary Assembly that the city of Hachioji has recently notified them that the arena would be available one day less than initially planned (WCH originally considered until 22nd). JMSCA and IFSC experts looked at viable solutions for a schedule which takes into consideration both Climbing and Paraclimbing. However, no solution that could ensure the smooth running of the event and a fair field of play for all Athletes could be found.

The Executive Board and JMSCA asked the Plenary Assembly to discuss and then make a decision whether to take a big risk in the hosting of both Climbing and Paraclimbing in Japan, or to take a temporary painful decision and split the two Championships for 2019. This measure was considered necessary to provide professional Championships to both Climbers and Paraclimbers, instead of taking the risk to cancel part of the event at a later stage.

Since the decision to host Climbing and Paraclimbing World Championships belongs to the Plenary Assembly, the Executive Board and JMSCA asked the Plenary Assembly to vote “To allow for the hosting of the 2019 World Championships and the 2019 Paraclimbing World Championships in separate locations and/or dates”. The vote refers to the 2019 Championships only and there is no intention, at this stage, to split climbing and paraclimbing at the WCH 2021 in Moscow. The vote was approved unanimously by the Plenary Assembly, after a productive discussion and debate.

On March 22nd, Fédération Française de la Montagne et de L’Escalade (FFME) confirmed the provisional candidacy made at the Plenary Assembly to host the Paraclimbing World Championships in Briançon (FRA) in July 2019. The IFSC is confident that the 2019 Paraclimbing World Championships will be a great success thanks to the long history and experience of the Event Organisers and FFME.

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