Para athletics is the sport of athletics for people with a range of impairments. Para athletes compete in a range of track, road or field events.

Para athletics events are held for men and women over a range of classifications and events. Broadly speaking the classification categories are divided into six different types of impairment – visually impaired, intellectually impaired, cerebral palsy and brain trauma, short stature, limb deficiencies and impaired muscle power/impaired range of movement. Some Para athletes will compete in wheelchairs, some with prostheses, while those who are visually impaired receive guidance from a sighted guide.

In Para athletics each event consists of a prefix T (track) or F (field) and a number that indicates which of the events the sport class applies to.

At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, 1140 Para athletes from 146 countries competed in 177 different medal events.

1952The first Para athletics competition took place at the inaugural International Stoke Mandeville Games. Wheelchair racing was one of eight sports which featured on the programme.
1960Para athletics was one of eight sports to feature at the inaugural Paralympic Games staged in Rome. All 25 Para athletics events on the programme (13 men and 12 women) were field events.
1964Track events were introduced into the Para athletics programme at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. A total of 42 Para athletic events were included in the Games programme.
1976As the growth of Para athletics expanded, the Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games witnessed some 207 Para athletics events on the programme.
1988The Korean capital of Seoul played host to the first Paralympic Games to take place in the same host city as the Olympic Games.
1994The birth of the IPC Athletics World Championships in Berlin. The event is now a biennial competition.
2012Some 1,100 athletes competed across 170 events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
2015A total of 1,230 athletes competed at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha.
2016New Zealand Para athletes won 9 medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

In New Zealand, Para athletics is currently delivered widely at the national level. Register your interest now!