Interested In Learning How To Row?

There are many organizations throughout the province that offer para-rowing programs for all classifications including PR1, PR2, and PR3.

Find A Local Para-Rowing Club

img_5450Para-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.

Why Should I Row?

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.

What Are The Para-Rowing Classifications?

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

1. PR1 (athlete uses primarily arms and shoulders, minimal or no trunk function, uses a fixed seat)
2. PR2 (athlete also able to use trunk, but minimal or no leg function, uses a fixed seat)
3. PR3 (athlete able to use whole body to some effect, uses a sliding seat)

Can I Compete As A Para-Rower?

Athletes can compete at local, provincial, and national regattas over distances of 1000m to 2000m in all categories. Internationally there are opportunities to compete at International Para Rowing regattas, World Cups, World Championships and Paralympic Games. The international distance for para rowing competitions is 2000m. Canada’s National Para-Rowing Team has been successful at the World Championship and Paralympic level.

What If I Want To Coach Para-Rowing?

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

Who Do I Contact For More Information Related To Para-Rowing?

Contact Rowing BC’s Para Coach Martin George at 250 307 7732 or at

We also encourage you to connect Martin George on Twitter