World Shooting Para Sport has welcomed a new sport class to its family with the addition of vision impaired.
The news comes after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board officially approved the transference of governance of vision impaired shooting from the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) to World Shooting Para Sport.
Vision impaired (VI) events will first be contested at the International Shooting Competition of Hannover from 2-12 May in Germany. Athletes with a vision impairment will then get to compete at the World Cup from 20-28 July in Osijek, Croatia. The class will also take the big stage at the 2019 World Championships from 9-10 October in Sydney, Australia.
VI will become the seventh class in shooting Para sport.
Athletes with a vision impairment can compete in air rifle events shot at 10m distances. The official event names are VIS –Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SHVI and VIP – Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SHVI.
Tyler Anderson, World Shooting Para Sport Manager, said: “We are thrilled to have vision impaired shooting join our family and open the door for more athletes to compete in our fantastic sport.
“We thank IBSA and the many individuals who made this possible for their tremendous contributions and we look forward to the first competition in Hannover.”
Jannie Hammershoi, IBSA President, said: “After a period of great work by World Shooting Para Sport in collaboration with IBSA’s shooting committee, we are confident they have the resources and drive needed to take it forward as the specific global governing body.
“We are really happy to hand them the baton for this great sport of skill and accuracy, and appreciate their commitment to including athletes with visual impairments.
“IBSA will always be on hand to support with expertise, grassroots development and our specific but wide network. We are excited to see shooting go from strength-to-strength in the coming years.”
Ferrol van Hoeven, World Shooting Para Sport Technical Committee Head of Technical, said: “The start of vision impaired shooting within World Shooting Para Sport is the result of teamwork and individual interest in our high performing sport. Especially when two sport organisations open the door for creative and dedicated solutions you get the highest score.”
Athletes with a vision impairment use air rifles to fire a series of shots at a stationary target. Shooters use an audio signal to guide them in their aiming, with the audio signal rising in pitch as the point of aim moves nearer to the centre of the target.