Boost for disability sport

One of the guiding principles of the Olympics is the importance of participation as opposed to winning.

"The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well," said the father of the modern Olympic movement, Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

Paralympians are living examples of people who have triumphed over adversity and "fought well".

Every Paralympian has an inspirational story to tell. Most people would be impressed and inspired by the sight of an athlete with missing limbs sprinting faster than most able-bodied people.

Read inspiring stories from Paralympians:

The British Paralympic Association (BPA) hopes that the London 2012 Games will continue to inspire disabled people of all ages to take up sport, either competitively or for its health benefits.

The BPA's Parasport website aims to increase participation in disability sport by directing people to suitable sports, opportunities, clubs and facilities in their area.

The Parasport website is designed to improve access to regional sports facilities for disabled people.

"Many young people do not know how to access sport for the disabled in their local area," said a Parasport spokesman. "Equally, we needed to find new athletes for the GB team in time for 2012 and beyond. We hope this scheme helps to extend the talent pool."

Britain's got talent

Britain has one of the best records at the Paralympic Games, which were first held in 1960 in Rome. The BPA wants Britain to continue to set the standards in disability sport internationally and to nurture new talent.

The Parasport website is the first of its kind in the UK. Its goal is to inspire anyone with a disability to lead an active lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of participating in sport, such as health, inclusion and social development.

The website has a number of features, including a self-assessment wizard, which allows the user to enter their disability and find suitable sports to participate in. There is information on all the different parasports, videos, photographs and regular news updates. 

While the Paralympic sports are at the forefront of disability sporting opportunities, there are plenty of non-Paralympic sports available too. The disability world has a wide variety of sports, including zone hockey, transplant sports, waterskiing, angling, wheelchair dance, hand cycling, motor sports, inclusive gyms and much more.

With its growing clubs and events database, the Parasport website will support and develop as many of these sporting opportunities as possible.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Britain's most successful wheelchair athlete, believes the Parasport website will increase the opportunities available to disabled people throughout the UK.

"We want to encourage more youngsters, as well as the disabled community as a whole, to take up sport either competitively or for health reasons," she says.

Leg amputation: Colin's story

In this video, Colin Edwards talks about why his leg was amputated, and how losing a leg needn't stop you from leading an active life.

Media last reviewed: 20/08/2013

Next review due: 20/08/2015

Page last reviewed: 01/07/2013

Next review due: 01/07/2015


How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 0 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating


Services near you

Find addresses, phone numbers and websites for services near you

'We volunteered at the Paralympics'

Dave and Justin talk about their unique experience and the positive British attitude towards disability

Sarah Storey

'Competing is in my DNA'

Britain's most decorated female Paralympian Sarah Storey talks about sport, disability and winning gold medals in two different sports

David Roberts

'Swimming is my life'

Paralympian David Roberts, who has cerebral palsy, says swimming has been a life-changing experience

Ian Rose

'Judo gave me confidence'

Paralympic medallist Ian Rose talks about learning a martial art and describes how he became a world judo champion

Get fit with the Olympics

Get into the Olympic spirit and kickstart your active lifestyle

Volunteering: fit it in

Not everyone who wants to volunteer can afford to give up their time throughout the year, but there are ways to get involved on a short-term basis.