Para dance sport adds to family

Three new nations try sport after course in Latvia

a group of Para dancers and officials giving thumbs up Three new countries have been introduced to Para dance sport at a course in Latvia © • World Para Dance Sport

World Para Dance Sport has welcomed three new countries into its family after a coaching course held in December in Jurmala, Latvia.

Representatives from Ireland, Latvia and Sweden learned the basics of Para dance sport, such as its history, the different dancing styles, wheelchair techniques and skills, and judging criteria.

The course was the first of its kind in the Baltic region and in collaboration with the Latvian Spinal Cord Injury Society and the Rehabilitation Centre ‘Vaivari.’

“All the participants finished the course with plenty of enthusiasm and determined to do what they can to develop the sport in their countries,” said Konstantin Vasilyev of Russia, the course’s lead instructor.

Vasilyev, who also serves on World Para Dance Sport’s Sport Technical Committee, added:

“We understand that there will be challenges along the way to bringing the sport to their homes and there are uncontrollable factors. But after their participation over the two days, I know they will try their best, and we hope to see the first results of their activities in the upcoming year.

“Ireland, Latvia and Sweden - welcome to our World Para Dance Sport Family!”

Camila Rodrigues, World Para Dance Sport Manager, said the coaching courses have helped the sport reaching new regions.

“This year, we have seen our family grow even bigger after courses held in the USA, Chinese Taipei and now Latvia. We have seen that there is plenty of interest in an artistic Para sport. We are looking forward to following up on the new nations and helping them further their growth,” Rodrigues said.

The course took place from 1-2 December. After the sessions, an event was held at the National Library in the capital city Riga to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities organised by ‘Vaivari’ and the Spinal Cord Injury Society.