Para Athletes


Aims and Objectives

  • To increase the number of elite athletes with a disability competing in future Paralympic and Commonwealth Games.
  • To increase the number of Northern Irish athletes selected for Team GB/ Team Ireland in Paralympic Games and major championships, as well as for the Northern Ireland Team at the Commonwealth Games.
  • To increase the number of athletes participating in the Northern Ireland Championships and in the National Squad ie the Youth Academy.
  • To increase the number of competitions and integrated competitions for podium potential and squad athletes.
  • To increase the link with local athletes to clubs that have para athletes.
  • To increase the number of integrated events for more local competition opportunities for athletes.
  • To talent ID children in schools and try to link them to local athletic clubs, providing better links into the competition structure for the athletes.
  • To increase the opportunity for athletes to train under the supervision of experienced coaches. For example, getting more coach and athlete pairs to attend our Athletics NI Para sessions

What we offer:

We provide a pathway for para athletes from beginners through to high performance. We provide competition for various levels of para athletics which are integrated with mainstream competitions.

We run taster session for children age 8 – 17 years old at different times during the year like Easter and Summer. We run 6 para sessions between September – April for athletes 12 years through to seniors, these sessions are suitable for beginners to developmental athletes. We want as many athletes to join local athletics club when possible. Then if an athlete reaches Youth Academy standard, they join their session also. For information on Youth Academy go to

When athletes reach the Event Specific or Performance Levels of the Athlete Development Pathway they then liaise with Tom Reynolds Athlete Development Lead, Laura Kerr Coach Development & Physical Prep Lead and Jackie Newton Director of Coaching & Athlete Development

Event Specific:

Performance Level:


We arrange for the top British Athletics & Paralympics Ireland para coaches to run workshops through out the year that coaches can register to attend, including:

  • Athletics NI Disability Inclusion workshop – theory and practical session – including guide running
  • Athletics NI wheelchair racing workshop – theory and practical session
  • UKA Disability Inclusion online module- now online here
  • Coaches CPD – coaches can attend our Para session with their athletes


Classification & eligibility:

The following groups are currently included in the Paralympic Pathway:

T= Track F= Field (Male in black) T= Track F= Field (Female in yellow)

T- Track F-Field

Events in 2020/21 Paralympics for this class

(events can change every 4 years)

Events 2018 Commonwealths

(events can change every 4 years)

T/F 11-13 Athlete with a Visual Impairment T11/   100m, T12/T12 100m, T13/T13 100m T12 100m (male)
T11 200m, T12 200m
T11/T11 400m, T12/T12 400m, T13/T13 400m
T11/T11 1500m, T13/T13 1500m (mixed 12&13)
T11 5000m, T13 5000m (mixed 12&13)
T11marathon, T12/T12 marathon (female mixed T11&12)
T11/T11 LJ, T12/T12 LJ, T13 LJ
F11/F11 Discus
F13/F13 Javelin (mixed 12&13)
F11 Shot Put, F12/F12 Shot Put (females mixed F11&12)
T/F 20 Intellectual Impairment T20/T20 400m, T20/T20 1500m  
F20/F20 LJ, F20/F20 Shot Put
T/F 32-38 Athletes with Co-ordination Impairments (hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis) T33 100m, T34/T34(mixed 33&34) 100m, T35 100m, T36 100m, T37 100m, T38 100m T38/T38 100m (male & female)
T35/T35 200m, T36 200m, T37/T37 200m T35 100m (female)
T36 400m, T37/T37 400m, T38/T38 400m F38 Shot (male)
T34/T34 800m (mixed 33&33) F38 LJ (female)
T38 1500m (mixed 37&38)  
F36 LJ, F37/F37 LJ, F38/F38 LJ  
F32/F32 Club Throw (mixed 31&32)  
F37 Discus, F38 Discus (mixed F37/38)  
F34/F34 Javelin (mixed 33&34),  
F38 Javelin  
F32/F32 Shot, F33/F33 Shot, F34/F34 Shot, F35/F35 Shot, F36/F36 Shot, F37/F37 Shot  
T/F 40-41 Short Stature F41 Javelin (mixed 40&41)  
F41 Discus (mixed F40&41)
F40/F40 Shot, F41/F41 Shot
T/F 42-47 Amputee & Les Autres T47/T47 100m (mixed 45,46&47) T47 100m (male)
T47 200m (mixed 45,46 &47) F46 Javelin (female)
T47/T47 400m (mixed 45,46 &47)  
T46 1500m (mixed 45&46)  
T46 marathon (mixed 45&46)  
F47/F47 LJ (mixed 45,46 &47),  
F47 HJ (mixed 45,46 &47)  
F46/F46 Javelin (mixed 45&46)  
F46 shot (mixed 45&46)  
T 51-54 Wheelchair Racers  T51 100m, T52 100m, T54/T54 1500m
T53/T53 100m, T54/T54 100m T54/T54 marathon
T51 200m  
T52 400m (mixed T51&52), T53/T53 400m, T54/T54 400m  
T53 800m, T54/T54 800m (mixed T53&54)               
T52 1500m (mixed T51&52),  
T54/T54 1500m (mixed T53&54),  
T54/T54 5000m (mixed T53/54)  
T54/T54 marathon mixed (T52,53 &54)  
F 51-58 Seated Field Athletes F51/F51 Club throw  
F52 Discus (mixed F51&52)
F53 Discus (mixed F51,52&53)
F55 Discus (mixed F54&55)
F57 Discus (mixed F55 &57)
F56 Discus (mixed F54,55&56)
F54/F54 Javelin (mixed F53&54)
F56 Javelin (mixed F55&56)
F57 Javelin (mixed 56/57)
F53 Shot, F54/55 Shot, F56/57 Shot
F54 Shot, F57 Shot (mixed 56&57)
T/F 61-64 Lower limb/s competing with prosthesis affected by limb deficiency and leg length difference T63/T63 100m (mixed T42&T3), T64/T64 100m (mixed T44, T62 &T64),  
T61 200m, T64/T64 200m (mixed T44&T64),
T62 400m
F63/F63 LJ (mixed F42&F61, F63)
F64/F64 LJ (mixed F44&F62/64)
F63 HJ (mixed F42&F63),
F64 HJ (mixed F44&F64)
F64/F64 Discus (mixed F43/44 & F62/64)
F64 Javelin (mixed 42/43/44&F61/62/63/64)
F63 Shot (mixed F43, F61/63)

The classification process identifies the athlete's functional ability in relation to the event group in which they are competing. The athlete undergoes a series of mobility tests and is seen in competition by IPC (International Paralympic Committee) qualified classifiers. For information on what impairments are eligible to be classified click here

Session Dates:




September 2020

Mary Peters Track, Belfast

1pm - 3pm

October 2020

Mary Peters Track, Belfast

1pm - 3pm

November 2020

Mary Peters Track, Belfast

1pm - 3pm

February 2021

Ulster University, Jordanstown

1pm - 3pm

March 2021

Mary Peters Track, Belfast

1pm - 3pm

April 2021

Mary Peters Track, Belfast

1pm - 3pm

Wheelchair Training Sessions

Wheelchair track training sessions - these are held at the Mary Peters Track (Belfast) on Thursday nights 5pm - 6pm for athletes aged 8-12 (April to October) and from 5pm - 6.30pm (all year) for athletes aged 12 and older.

If you are interested in attending please email through your name, age and disability details to Heather Ardis:

Para sessions – Following on from these sessions Athletics NI will create links between athletes and local clubs. A full list of clubs in Northern Ireland can be found at


Athlete Assistance Form- This document allows athletes with disabilities to request assistance, where required, from Event Organisers or officials for competitions.

Special Olympics

Special Olympics Ulster provides year round sports training and competition to over 2,000 people with an intellectual disability in the counties Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Derry, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. Special Olympics Ulster have their own website with more information.

Contact Details

Athletics NI: Heather Ardis, Athletics House, Old Coach Road, Belfast BT9 5PR

Email: or Phone: 028 9060 2707 

British Athletics Contact: Sarah Benson
Paralympics Ireland: James Nolan,
Special Olympics
Disability Sport NI

British Blind Sport

The British Blind Sport Guide for Supporting Visually Impaired Adults and Children in Athletics is another useful resource.