Archery is open to athletes with a physical impairment, who may shoot with assistive devices allowed under classification rules, if required. Para archery competition, which includes specific competition categories for athletes with certain classifications, is an integral part of the Paralympic Games.
The first archery competition for those with physical impairments took place at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948 for recovering veterans.
As participants from other nationalities became involved over the years, this event became the precursor to the Paralympic Games. When the first Paralympiad was held at Rome 1960, para archery was part of the programme – and it has remained there ever since.
International para archery was organised by the International Paralympic Committee until 2009 when responsibility as the governing body for rules, regulations and promotion was transferred to World Archery. Still working closely with the IPC, World Archery promotes para archery at the world, continental and national levels, including additional competition categories in tournaments outside of the Paralympic Games to increase participation and the opportunity for medals. In Guyana, the local governing body affiliated to World Archery is Archery Guyana, which entity stated that they will in the near future be launching officially a Para-Archery Programme.
During the recently held level 1 Coaching Course conducted by world renowned Coach Mr. Phillip Graves, the Chair of the National Commission on Disability, Mrs. Evelyn Hamilton paid a visit to the National Resource Centre accompanied by Commissioner Mr. Ganesh Singh. Also present was Vice-Chair of the Commission on Disability Mrs. Vidushi Persaud-McKinnon.
Coach Graves proceeded to run a presentation on persons with disabilities and explained one of the sighting methods used by the visually impaired. Participants of the Course were able to witness Commissioner Ganesh Singh, who is visually impaired utilise the tripod stand which is used as an assistive device and after 15 minutes of tutoring, Mr. Ganesh Singh took his first shot, naturally applying the principles of biomechanics he was told and registered a score which challenged many participants into their 5th day of coaching.
Chair of the National Commission on Disability, Mrs. Hamilton expressed her commitment to working with Archery Guyana to ensure that persons with disabilities can be involved in the sport of Archery.
In pictures below:
- Mr. Ganesh Singh is shown the stand and given the instructions as to biomechanics in the classroom. Looking on, on left is Chair of the National Commission on Disability, Mrs. Evelyn Hamilton.
2. Mr. Ganesh Singh, visually impaired, preparing to take his first Archery shot under the guidance of Coach Phil Graves.