Group photo of Para athletes and coaches

Part of the PNZ Strengthen and Adapt Plan, “Building the Para Sport Family” is a two-part project designed to support Para athletes and coaches through a Para Sport Collective and Para sport coach resource development. The Para Sport Collective provides in-person camps and virtual support across all Para sports for Para athletes and coaches to build connections, confidence and knowledge through shared experiences and talent enrichment. Coach Development will provide the resources for coaches across non-disabled and Para sport to gain knowledge, capability and confidence and creativity to coach and support Para athletes.

Para Sport Collective, supported by ACC


"Para Sport Collective, supported by ACC

The Para Sport Collective is for Para athletes and coaches across the wide range of Para sports. Para athletes in the midrange of their Para sport journey (i.e. pre High Performance) where there is currently limited support are the target group. PNZ will develop the Para Sport Collective to have an inclusive selection process ensuring a balance of male and female athletes and coaches and, where appropriate, an emphasis on rangatahi. 

  • The central purpose of the Para Sport Collective is connecting Para athletes and coaches while surrounding them with support and a range of learning and development opportunities. 
  • Over a 3-year period the Para Sport Collective approach will include 6 national in-person camps (alternating between North Island and South Island locations to ensure accessibility) across two intakes and bi-monthly virtual connection opportunities. There will be two intakes over the period of the project. 
  • PNZ will co-design the Para Sport Collective needs with the PNZ Athletes Council, NSOs/NDSOs and coaches to understand current state and needs. This includes understanding and complementing initiatives being delivered at regional level in this space. 
  • A monitoring and evaluation framework will be developed to track the impact and outcomes of the Para Sport Collective, as the basis for ongoing improvements. It is used to inform ongoing sustainability of the associated system change. 

Coaching Development

  • Development of coaching resources to address the stakeholder-reported lack of capability and confidence in supporting Para athletes. 
  • Development of stand-alone resources targeting Para sport coaches, with the ability to integrate Para sport and disability knowledge within non-disabled coaching courses. 
  • During the development phase, PNZ would work with key stakeholders to co-design the resources and courses in a way that allows them to be incorporated/integrated within existing NSO coach development programmes. 
  • The resources would also be available to other organisations across the sport and recreation sector via Sport NZ’s Sport Tutor learning portal and cover a range of modules including; terminology, classification and coaching for various impairments. Longer term PNZ will work with NSOs to share the resource content to be integrated into existing NSO coaching programmes and resources.
  • A monitoring and evaluation framework will be developed and used to inform ongoing sustainability of the associated system change. 

A person in a wheelchair, at their desk studying and watching a video on their computer


  • The Para Sport Collective supported by ACC was launched publicly on Wednesday 22 March. Follow this link to read more.
  • PNZ has commenced working with NSOs seeking applications from pre high performance Para athletes and coaches to be part of the first intake of the inaugural Para Sport Collective commencing in May 2023. Applications close 31 March. Please contact Melissa Dawson, PNZ Strategic Engagement Manager ( or your NSO for further details.
  • Codesign of the Para Sport Collective has concluded. Thank you to the advisory group who contributed to this work that included Para athletes, coaches and representatives from NSOs, Parafeds or similar organisations.
  • PNZ thanks the Coaching Resource development focus groups for their contributions to the initial phase. The modules are currently in construction, to be launched online in July 2023.