Sports Summary

Para-canoe was added to the Paralympic Program in 2010 by the International Paralympic Committee. The sport will make its first appearance at the Paralympic Games at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Para-canoeing it is exactly like regular canoeing and it gives people with various physical challenges the opportunity to enjoy the sport at all levels: club, regional, national and international. There are many subcategories of the event given the degree of the competitor’s impairment and it is likely that all of these categories will be added to the Games selection.

Get involved in Para-sport: register your interest today!


Australian Canoe

International Canoe Federation

International Paralympic Committee

Events & Disciplines

Only Kayak events will be included in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, however international competition exists in Kayak and Va’a events:
K-1 & V1 200 Metre (KL1)
K-1 & V1 200 Metre (KL2)
K-1 & V1 200 Metre (KL3)

K-1 & V-1 200 Metre (KL1)
K-1  & V-1 200 Metre (KL2)
K-1 & V-1 200 Metre (KL3)


Who is eligible for Para-canoe?

Athletes with a physical impairment (such as spinal or nerve injury, limb deficiency or other similar impairment that impacts upon muscle power or range of motion). Athletes must lose a minimum of 4 points on one lower limb to be eligible for a Kayak class.

What are the classes?

Athletes are classified into classes depending on their functional ability, KL1, KL2 and KL3.

For more info, view the Para-canoe Classification Information Sheet (updated Nov 2019)


We encourage those wishing to explore Para-canoe to contact their state federation in the first instance. The national federation link below provides information on the national high performance program leading to competing internationally and at the Paralympic Games.

National Federation
Organisation Website
Paddle Australia
State Federations
State Organisation Website
NSW Paddle NSW
QLD Paddle QLD
SA Paddle SA
TAS Paddle TAS
VIC Paddle VIC
WA Paddle WA