Team Ireland has had a strong presence in Athletics over the last number of years competing across a broad spectrum including 100m, 1500m and Shot Put to name but a few. If Athletics is something you are interested in, you should contact your local Athletics Club. If you are unsure of the location of your nearest club, contact Athletics Ireland or IWA Sport who will be able to help you.
Athletes compete in a variety of Track and Field events according to their functional classification, with some competing in wheelchairs, some with prostheses, while those who are visually impaired receive guidance from a sighted guide.
If you would like to find out more about Athletics, about competing and classification, you can contact us here.
Ireland has had huge success in the pool over the years, from gold medals to world records. If you think swimming is the sport for you, then find your local pool and enquire about taking lessons. You can also ask them about a swimming pathway towards a competitive swimming club and more details can be found about this here. Once you are a confident swimmer, and training multiple times weekly, you are ready to compete. Always start at club level competitions, before progressing to regional competition. Once you are competing at regional level, you should ensure that you make contact with Paralympics Ireland’s Para-Swimming Operations Manager here.
Swimmers are classified according to their functional ability to perform each stroke. Numbers 1-10 cover athletes with physical impairments, while classes 11-13 are for athletes with a visual impairment. Athletes with an intellectual impairment compete in class 14, while several prefixes will denote the type of event; “S” represents Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly events, “SB” denotes Breaststroke events and “SM” refers to Individual Medley events.
For more information, you can contact us here.
Cerebral Palsy 7-a-side Football
A 14-strong Irish team, led by captain Luke Evans and coach Barry Ferguson, has qualified for the Paralympic Games in Rio this year. The sport differs from the 11-a-side game in that the measurements of the playing field are smaller, there is no offside rule and throw-ins can be made with just one hand. Matches consist of two halves of 30 minutes each.
Ambulant athletes with Cerebral Palsy (CP) classes 5, 6, 7 and 8 can play 7-a-side soccer. Teams must feature players from each class during a game with a recent rule change meaning only one class 8 player can be on the field at any one time.
If you would like to find out more about CP Football or learn more about the game and classification you can contact us here.
Shooting is a test of accuracy and control, in which athletes use pistols or rifles to fire at static targets. It generally includes both rifle and pistol events with athletes divided in to two classes for competition. In this precision sport, athletes use focus and controlled breathing to reduce their heart rates and improve stability. Competing in shooting demands high levels of concentration and emotional control.
Athletes with different disabilities compete together in two classes – SH1, for athletes who can support the weight of their firearm themselves, and SH2, for athletes who use a shooting stand to support their arm.
If you would like to find out more about Shooting or about classification you can contact us here.
If you aspire to compete as an elite Paralympic athlete in any other sport, or simply want to get involved, then please get in touch with the organisation below that suits your requirements.
Alternatively, please contact us and we would be delighted to help.