MP raises fears over sailing’s future in games MP

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CONCERNS have been raised by an MP about the International Paralympic Committee’s decision to exclude sailing from the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage voiced her fears during questions to the department for culture, media and sport.

Ms Dinenage said she feared this decision could hold back the sport just as it is gaining momentum.

She asked the minister responsible, Helen Grant MP, if she agreed that the decision to exclude sailing from the Tokyo games in 2020 was not only an enormous setback the sport, but would also rob the country of the next generation of inspiring sailing sportsmen like Fareham’s Geoff Holt.

Ms Grant said: ‘Britain is a great sailing nation and I can understand completely the frustration of our Paralympic sailors.’

Ms Grant said she intended to speak to the IPC chairman president Sir Philip Craven ‘in the very near future’.

Speaking outside the chamber, Ms Dinenage said: ‘Given the huge success of the sailing events held off the south coast for the 2012 Paralympics, I firmly believe that the sport should remain on the agenda.

‘In Gosport there is a wide range of sailing opportunities available for people of all ages and abilities. Having something to aspire to such as the Paralympics is really important so I feel strongly that the sport should be reinstated for future Games.’