An international project to support the development of wind tunnel flying as and activity suitable for people with disabilities.
In years 2020 – 2022, Hurricane Factory Prague participated in the international project #Windtunnel Handifly (#WH). It was a project organized by the French Parachuting Federation (FFP) with the support of the EU Erasmus +, aiming to support the development of flying in a wind tunnel, or so called indoor skydiving, as an activity suitable for people with disabilities. For more information go to: https://www.ffp.asso.fr/
Hurricane Factory Prague collaborated on the project also with Cesta za snem (Journey to a dream), Sportovní klub vozíčkárů Praha (Praue Wheelchair Sports Club), Poděbrady Special Elementary School, Centrum Paraple, UK FTVS and other organizations, to whom we are very grateful.
As part of the first part of the project, more than a hundred people with disabiulities in the Czech Republic and thousands of people with disabilities in Europe had the opportunity to try flying in a wind tunnel.
In the second part, selected persons with disabilities were allowed to practice flying as a sport and in May 2022 they competed in the first international indoor skydiving competition for flyers with disabilities in Marseille, France.
The second international competition of this type took place at the Hurricane Factory Prague on the occasion of the Czech Open. Athletes with impaired muscle strength (paraplegics), with a missing limb or those who are dealing with the consequences of cerebral palsy took part in the competition. The Czech Republic had 4 representatives, of which Gabriela Knapová took the second place overall and was announced as the best woman of the competition.
Not even a month after that competition, at the annual meeting of the International Skydiving Commission (under the World Air Sport Federation) the establishment of a Skydiving for Disabled Committee was approved, so it can be assumed that in a year or two, flyers with disabilities will also be able to compete for the title of World or European Champion.
Here are a few sentences that describe Hurricane Factory Prague contribution to the movement:
Jérôme David (French Parachuting Federation’s deputy director): Hurricane Factory Prague has been a wonderful partner for the French Parachute Federation. Thanks to the dynamism of its team and the creativity of its managers, HFP brought a lot of energy to the project by organising key events at important moments. A huge congratulations to Sarka FERREROVA and HFP who have given momentum and an international dimension to the #handiflyRACE. These fabulous results constitute for the European Union a very strong symbol of social inclusion through sport.
Patrice Gerardin (deputy chair of the newly created ISC Skydiving for Disabled Committee): The projects we carry are often initiated by dreams we formulate. About the handifly program and its outcome with the handifly race, there are those who found the program politically correct and those who set to work to make this dream possible. HFP is the symbol of this: partner since the beginning of the FFP on the Erasmus program, HFP with its team and its dynamics has shown that the story would not stop. A great tunnel and its facilities for disabled people, but not only! Kindness, reactivity, professionalism, all embodied by Sarka, but also the whole team of HFP to whom we say a big thank you! The show will go on.