Friday, October 30, 2020, 7:40 p.m.
The Extremadura Canoeing Federation has promoted, together with different regional organizations and with the support of the canoeing clubs in the region, the councils of Cáceres and Badajoz and the Extremadura Government, the creation of a new sports entity: the Extremadura Canoeing Club, which was born with the objective of promoting inclusive canoeing, encouraging the integration of paddlers with disabilities in this discipline and allowing them to develop a full sporting life, on equal terms with the rest of the federated canoeists in our autonomous community. The club was presented this morning in Mérida, in an event that was attended by the general director of Sports of Extremadura, Dan de Sande Bayal, Dolores Méndez Durán representing the Provincial Council of Badajoz, Manuel Villarino Pocostales President of the paracanoe committee of the Royal Spanish Canoeing Federation, Juan Antonio Valle Gallardo Best National Paracanoe Paddler and athlete qualified for the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games, Elena Ayuso Ledesma Medal of Extremadura and pioneer in the KS category, Carmen Ledesma Barba president of the club. This new sports entity is based in Alange and will be made up of paddlers from the region of any age, ability and modality (kayak, canoe, paracanoe, recreational canoeing, etc.).
The Extremadura Canoeing Club aspires to be a leading organization in the promotion of inclusive canoeing at a national and international level, with special attention to the KS (Kayak Special) modality. Among its priority objectives is the promotion of sporting values, with a singular focus on
the defense of inclusion, equality, solidarity and the promotion of a more just society that advocates for the elimination of physical, social and cultural barriers that reduce the quality of life of people with different abilities and their families.
A reference community in paracanoe
Extremadura has been a reference region in the promotion of inclusive sport for years and has outstanding national paracanoe paddlers, such as Juan Antonio Valle Gallardo – who will compete in the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games –, Inés Felipe Vidigal and Elena Ayuso Ledesma.
Along these lines, the Extremadura Canoeing Club seeks to give visibility to the interest of different countries in generating a solid competitive structure around the KS modality. An ambitious goal that would put an end to obsolete and unfair practices that generate incomprehensible discrimination and “special” categories, systematically marginalizing paracanoe athletes.