Para sport is a term that describes sport offered as part of the Paralympic Movement. There are 28 Para sports contested at the Paralympic Games (22 Summer and 6 Winter). In addition, there are Para sports recognised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) but not currently contested at the Paralympic Games.

What are the summer Para sports?

  • Para archery
  • Para athletics
  • Para badminton
  • Boccia
  • Para canoe
  • Para cycling
  • Para equestrian
  • Blind football
  • Goalball
  • Para judo
  • Para powerlifting
  • Para rowing
  • Shooting Para sport
  • Sitting volleyball
  • Para swimming
  • Para table tennis
  • Para taekwondo
  • Para triathlon
  • Wheelchair basketball
  • Wheelchair fencing
  • Wheelchair rugby
  • Wheelchair tennis

Different kinds of Para sports

Many Para sports, for example, Para athleticsPara 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 BocciaWheelchair rugby and Goalball.


As well as the 28 Paralympic sports, there are Para sports recognised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) which are not currently contested at the Paralympic Games. These are Para sports whose international federations contribute to the development of sport opportunities for Para athletes and have organisational goals that are compatible with the Vision and Mission of the IPC. Summer Para sports in this category include:

When is the next summer Paralympic Games?

The next Paralympic Games will be held in Paris, France from the 28 August to 8 September 2024.

Since the Tel Aviv 1968 Paralympic Games, New Zealand has won a total of 236 Paralympic medals including 201 at summer Paralympic Games.

Who can compete at the Paralympic Games?

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!