Paragliding is a relatively young sport, and as a young sport, we witness it’s constant evolution. Just 30 years ago our gliders looked more like a parachute. 20 years ago the gliders had a glide lower than 8:1 and today we are flying two liners and flying distances over the 500 kms straight line, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the growth of our sport. Parallel to this evolution, the competitions have been growing in safety, distances flown, average quality, marketing and global coverage. There are as well more disciplines inside of the paragliding specter, like Acrobatics, Accuracy Landing, Hike & Fly and Cross Country.
But let’s focus on Cross Country flying, where almost everything has been done. Paragliding World Cup, FAI Paragliding World Championships, FAI European Championships, National Championships, Opens among others. All of these have a similar format of flying tasks for a short period of time and an overall winner after this time! At the beginning it was a circuit and today is a Super Final System for the PWC and a Two-year classification system for the FAI Cat 1 events, but in general terms all the same format.
So, it is time to give another big step into the evolution of this wonderful sport! For many years we have forgotten that we live as part of a society, and societies have grown in principle for its ability to cooperate. Paragliding has been promoted as an individual sport and we never had the chance to make it a TEAM SPORT!
Team sports are an essential part of our lives as young people.
The practice of any kind of sport increases the blood flow to the brain and activates endorphins; these have an important impact in your mood and your work performance.
As a society teamwork is all about collaborating with others to reach a common goal; as well we will find different personalities and scenarios that will help the individuals become adaptable, persistent and patient.
Team sports bring the best out of people. We learn to put the needs of the team over those of the individual. We are discouraged from cutting corners and encouraged to share and respect different points of view. The sense of community that team sports elicit help with self esteem, confidence, character and overall well-being.
WHY NOW?Right now is the time to adapt and evolve!! We are in the middle of a worldwide crisis that is showing us how fragile we are, but it has also shown us that we need to face the challenges of this world united. The team behind Free Fly World Tour strongly believes so, there is a force that brought us together as the family that we are, an air family in which each member has a different talent and we exploit it towards the same goal…right now, is the time to show initiative and be proactive.
For some time now we have heard from the pilots that they are tired of gaggle flying, we propose TEAM FLYING competitions where a system of following doesn’t pay off, we propose STRATEGIES, paragliding competitions are full of old pilots, we propose inclusive practices (Young and female members of teams).
Today is the time to take one step forward, to make our sport more diverse, to use all the tools we have in a world that goes very fast! We have immediate communications, live tracking, instant media, but we need to offer a different option and be the NEW WAY of competing in paragliding.