Paracanoe is a paddlesports discipline for any athlete with an impairment. It began as an initiative by the International Canoe Federation (ICF) to allow athletes with an impairment to compete in the sport.

After featuring as an exhibition event at the 2009 Canoe Sprint World Championships, Paracanoe had its first World Championships in 2013 in Duisberg, Germany. Paracanoe became an official Paralympic sport in 2016 and made its K1 debut at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, while V1 will first be contested at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Like Canoe Sprint, Paracanoe paddlers compete over 200m and 500m distances. While they are limited to single-seated craft, athletes have the opportunity to race in K1 and also V1 (Va’a racing involves a single-bladed paddle).

Because every para-athlete has a different and often unique impairment, experts assign them a specific classification based on this, so that they only race against those with the same classification. The current classifications are KL1, KL2, KL3, VL1, VL2 and VL3.


Ascot Kayak Club (AKC) has launched the only club-based paracanoe program in Australia!

AKC has made it event easier to start paracanoeing, by offering four free trial sessions to all new participants!

After being coached by a team of professional kayak coaches, prosthetists, Paracanoe athletes and Olympic medallists, participants will surely want to continue paddling with the program and eventually become integrated with other squads!

If this interests you or somebody you know, feel free to contact Helke and Mark at for all questions and queries.



WAIS Paracanoe Athletes

Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy (KL3)
Mark Daniels (KL3, VL3)
Ben Sainsbury (KL1, VL1)

Other Australian Paracanoe Athletes

Curtis McGrath – KL2, VL3 (QLD)
Susan Siepel – KL2, VL2 (QLD)
Dylan Littlehales – KL3 (NSW)
Amanda Jennings – KL3 (QLD)

While there are no paracanoe-specific events on our calendar, athletes regularly compete in the LiveLighter Sprint and Marathon series.
Paracanoe athletes are occasionally placed in divisions with each other to race against, but they also often compete against all the other athletes and finish with strong results.

21/22 LiveLighter Sprint Series

Regatta 1: 1st August 2021

Regatta 2: 18th September 2021

Regatta 3: 30th October 2021

Regatta 4: 4th December 2021

WA Sprint State Championships: 29th-30th January 2022

Regatta 5: 26th February 2022

National Sprint Calendar

Sprint Grand Prix 1: 10th-12th December 2021 – West Lakes, SA

Sprint Grand Prix 2: 18th-20th February 2022 – Penrith, NSW

Australian Sprint National Championships: 29th March – 3rd April 2022 – Champion Lakes, WA

Click here to see all Sprint Regatta results which include paracanoe results.