World Sailing is aiming to gain reinstatement for the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympics ©World Sailing

World Sailing has reignited its efforts to put the sport on the programme for the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games after setting out a series of goals to be achieved by 2023.

Since sailing was dropped as a Paralympic sport in 2015 prior to Tokyo 2020, the worldwide governing body has its sights on a return to the big stage.

An application was rejected for Paris 2024 with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) opting to stick with the 22 sports that featured in the Japanese capital.

But World Sailing has now renewed its efforts with the launch of the "Back the Bid #SailtoLA" campaign.

As part of its plans for reinstatement, a series of strategic priorities have been outlined by the International Federation in a bid to meet key criteria set by the IPC.

Increasing participation to 45 nations across six continents and bolstering the number of people under the age of 30 taking part in the sport by 20 per cent by 2023 are among World Sailing’s goals.

Achieving gender parity by growing the number of female participants by 30 per cent within the next two years is another priority for the governing body.

World Sailing said diversity, inclusion, affordability, development, and increasing the number of open and Para sailing events were all part of its framework to grow the sport.

World Sailing is looking to increase female participation in Para sailing by 30 per cent ©World Sailing
World Sailing is looking to increase female participation in Para sailing by 30 per cent ©World Sailing

"We know that other major sports looking for reinstatement are already drawing up their bid plans," said David Graham, chief executive of World Sailing.

"We know that IPC President Andrew Parsons has already publicly declared that the IPC will be looking at potential 'new sports' following the successful introduction of new, youth-focused sports at Tokyo 2020.

"We are on track to achieve our strategic priorities by 2023 and we are taking nothing for granted."

Despite the blow of being scrubbed off the Paralympic programme, World Sailing insisted the growth of Para sailing was increasing at an "unprecedented pace".

A total of 181 Para sailors representing 23 nations from six continents including Asia and Africa participated at this month’s World Championships.

According to World Sailing, there are 750 registered Para sailors with 15 per cent under the age of 30 - and 20 per cent are female.

World Sailing believes it is important to broaden the range of physical, sensory and intellectual disability types that participate in sailing.

Sailing last featured in the Paralympics at Rio 2016 before being dropped by the IPC ©World Sailing
Sailing last featured in the Paralympics at Rio 2016 before being dropped by the IPC ©World Sailing

"World Sailing and our global sailing community does not make the distinction between athletes who are able-bodied and those who are not - we all compete together, with the same rules. What really matters is personal skill," Spanish Para sailor Gabriel Barroso de María said.

"Sailing’s inclusiveness really stands out as a powerful lesson for our entire society: equality is possible on the water, and should be everywhere else.

"In a landscape of Para sports that feel more and more exclusive to me, and many others, with quadriplegia and minimal finger dexterity sailing is different - I can start any race and be competitive."

The IPC has yet to confirm the bidding process for Los Angeles 2028, but World Sailing expects that an application will need to be submitted by May 2022.

"It is a critical task of World Sailing to reinstate Para sailing in the Paralympics," added World Sailing President Quanhai Li.

"We must pro-actively coordinate with the International Paralympic Committee to further understand the entry standards and requirements, and I am in direct contact with the IPC President on this matter as we continue our work towards reinstatement at the Los Angeles Games in 2028."

The Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games will be the first held in the United States since 1996, when Para sailing made its debut at Atlanta as a demonstration sport.

Para sailing featured at five consecutive Games from Sydney 2000 to Rio 2016 only to be dropped for Tokyo 2020.