Para sport is a term that describes sport offered as part of the Paralympic Movement. There are 31 Para sports recognised by the International Paralympic Committee, of which 29 are currently contested at the Paralympic Games (23 Summer and 6 Winter).
Many Para sports, for example, Para athletics, Para cycling, and Para alpine skiing, are comparable to their equivalent Olympic sport, with similar rules and scoring. However, there are also a number of Para sports which are specific to the Paralympic Movement such as Boccia, Wheelchair Rugby and Goalball.
Para sport offers people with an eligible impairment, opportunities to be involved in a sporting pathway from grassroots through to elite Para sport, representing their country at the highest level, including the Paralympic Games.
To be eligible to participate in Para sport, athletes must have a health condition that presents itself as one of the 10 International Paralympic Committee eligible impairment types. The process of identifying eligibility through assessment of the impairment and resulting activity limitation, is called Classification. All Para athletes must go through the Classification process to be allocated a competition class with others who have a similar activity limitation in their sport.
New Zealand has a very active and vibrant Para sport scene with a large variety of Para sports offered at various levels of competition across the country. To find out more about the Para sports on offer in your region, register your details now!