BC Para-Rower Joan Reid, a member of the Vernon Rowing & Paddling Centre

Try Para-Rowing

Para-rowing provides athletes with a physical, sensory or intellectual disability the opportunity to be active on the water, get involved in a fun and friendly club environment, and participate in a variety of competitions.

Whether you are interested in having a social row, personal fitness, or taking this to the Paralympic Games, para-rowing has a program for you.

Para-rowing is suitable for a wide range of persons with a disability, including but not limited to spinal cord injury including paraplegia and quadriplegia; amputations; visual impairment and blindness; cerebral palsy; spina bifida; intellectual disabilities, including autism and Down syndrome; and hearing impairments.

The equipment used is essentially the same as for able-bodied rowers, with adaptations made to the equipment as required.


Vernon Come and Try Day

The ergonomics of rowing, in which the human body is guided through correct and symmetrical movement patterns by the equipment involved, oars and shell, can allow individuals to maintain a high level of muscular and cardiovascular output. This is particularly relevant where issues of coordination or spasticity may prevent an adequate level of exertion being achieved in many other sporting activities. Rowing is a unique activity in its ability to be adapted to a wide range of disability degrees and types and allows both muscular strengthening and improved cardiovascular fitness.

Rowing is ideal for many wheelchair users, involving the back muscles and opening the chest. Rowing combines these benefits with being a wonderful, low impact aerobic workout. The benefits of Rowing as cross training can enhance the performances in other para-sports.


There are three Para-Rowing classes recognized by FISA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron)

  1. AS (Arms & Shoulders)
  2. TA (Trunk & Arms)
  3. LTA (Legs, Trunk, & Arms)

For more information, click here


For information on Rowing BC member clubs currently offering para-programs, click here


Athletes can compete at local, provincial, and national regattas over a 1000m course in all categories. Internationally there are opportunities to compete at International Para Rowing regattas, World Cups, World Championships and Paralympic Games. Canada’s National Para-Rowing Team has been successful at the World Championship and Paralympic level.


Visit the Para-Rowing Coach Resource page for more information.


Contact Rowing BC’s Para Coach Martin George at 250 307 7732 or at paracoach@rowingbc.ca

Make sure to follow Rowing BC Para-Rowing on Twitter