DISABILITY ATHLETICS EXPLAINED
Disabled athletes have to have a Disability not a Difficulty.
The huge success of our Paralympics in 2012 and the Invictus Games have been extraordinarily successful in bringing to the public’s attention the wide variety of athletics events disabled athletes can participate in both at local and international level. Although there are still not many schools that seem to provide sport for disabled pupils, many clubs are now making great efforts to be inclusive.
For those who want to learn about or get involved with disability athletics, the British Athletics website has details of Para Athletics Induction Days. These are days that are held around the England where people can get assessed and classified as to which category they come under and can compete in should they wish. Similar information can be found on the England Athletics website.
There are basically two categories in Disability Athletics – Seated and Ambulatory. The full list of all the Classifications can be downloaded from the Paralympics website, but they do occasionally get updated, the Cerebral Palsy category being a current on-going example. It should be noted that within athletics, there are various specific organisations that run their own competitions and championships both here and abroad. Some examples include Cerebral Palsy Sport, Deaflympics, Dwarf Sport Association UK and, for those with a learning disability, the Special Olympics.
Wiltshire has for some years now, offered disabled athletes the opportunity to take part in their annual County Athletics Championships and 2018 is no exception with an even larger amount of events on offer. Unfortunately we are only able to cater for Ambulatory athletes at the moment but it is hoped that we will be able to offer some Seated events in the future.