Athletes competing in Para sport have physical impairments. Para Athletes are classified based on their physical impairments into Sport Classes. More information on the international standards of para sport can be found on the International Canoe Federations (ICF) website here.

In the Canadian System we allow for two types of boats, Kayak (K) and Va’a (V). There are three physical impairment classifications in each of the boat classes KL1, KL2, KL3 and General for kayak and VL1, VL2, VL3 and General for va’a. Once classified with a sport class, paddlers are allocated a Classification Status. 

A National Classification Masterlist that details the status of all athletes who have undergone national classification can be found here. To see the ICF’s international classification Masterlist please visit here.  

More information on Classification  

Eligible Impairment types – See PaddleUKs information about different types of impairments.

How does Classification work? 

A Para Athlete must be classified by ICF trained classifiers. The process involves a physical test, technical test and if necessary, observation in competition. All of these tests are combined to result in an athletes final classification.  

A minimum of two classifiers form a classification panel. One being a medical classifier (a doctor or physiotherapist) and a technical classifier (someone from the sport like a coach). Both medical and technical classifiers must have undertaken the ICF paracanoe classifier training.  

Athletes should first complete National level classification. In Canada, this often happens at National Team Trials or at National Championships.  

Want to be a Canadian Classifier? 

Reach out to CKC to submit your interest to  

Required Classification Forms: 

  1. CKC Paracanoe Classification Form 
  2. Para Athlete Diagnosis form
  3. CKC Paracanoe Athlete Certificate of Diagnosis
  4. Para Athlete Info and Consent Form
  5. Declaration of Medical Complications and Emergency Measures Form
  6. Equipment Passport
  7. CKC PFD waiver
  8. CKC Strapping Waiver