A sizeable Para-Sport component will provide a colourful and welcome ingredient to the vibrant World Masters Games 2017 programme. Eleven sports and 12 disciplines will offer Para-Sport competition across the ten days of action – the most extensive Para-Sport programme ever included in a Masters Games event.

Para-Sport competition is embedded within the schedules of Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Canoe (Flat Water and Waka Ama), Cycling, Lawn Bowls, Rowing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis and Triathlon.

As with all other World Masters Games 2017 events, there’s no need to qualify. As long as you are over the minimum age for your chosen sport (see sports pages for details), and meet the minimum disability classification requirements, you can compete.

Full details of competition dates and times; events and format which includes a breakdown of age categories; competition rules; and venue detail can be found in the Para-Sports Information Guide.

To enter in a Para-Sport event at the Games, you must be able to meet minimum disability criteria for that sport. The Paralympic Movement offers sport opportunities for athletes with physical, visual and intellectual impairments and these can be divided into 10 eligible impairment types which must be permanent in nature.

Details of the Eligible Impairments in the Paralympic Movement, together with examples of Health Conditions that may lead to those Eligible Impairments can be found on the Paralympics New Zealand website at http://www.paralympics.org.nz/Pathway/Classification.

If an athlete would like to enter a Para-Sport event and they do not currently hold either a national or international classification, an application for a ‘Provisional’ classification must be made, using one of the following forms; Intellectual Impairment, Physical Impairment, Visual Impairment. Further details and steps to complete the classification process are outlined in the Para-Sports Information Guide.

As further information comes to hand the Para-Sports Information Guide will be updated so please make sure you check that you have the most up to date version.

Increasing profile for Para-Sport

With 164 participating nations and more than 4,000 athletes competing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games - a figure expected to grow for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games - interest in Para-Sport is at an unprecedented level.

Fiona Allan, the Chief Executive of Paralympics New Zealand, said: “We are thrilled to see a variety of Para-Sports included in the World Masters Games 2017 as it provides a fantastic opportunity for all New Zealanders and international competitors to participate and compete on a level playing field.

“Internationally, Para-Sport has seen huge growth in terms of public interest and competing athletes and we look forward to working with the Organising Committee at the World Masters Games 2017 to promote the Para-Sport events domestically and internationally.”

Spotlight on Para-Sports

Hand CyclistThe precise age division and format for many of the sports have yet to be finalised, although rowing – which will be hosted on Lake Karapiro in Cambridge – have already decided to run adaptive events for those at (A) 27 years or more and (B) 36 years or more over distances between 500m or 1000m. Races for men, women and mixed will be divided into A = arms only TA = Trunk and Arms and LTA = Legs, Trunk and Arms in single, double or coxed four events.

Staying in the water, Para-Sport competition will be part of the canoe sprints K1 and Waka Ama V1 sprints and V6 sprints programme.

Athletics will stage wheelchair track races over 100m, 400m, 1500m and over 10km (on the road) as well as javelin and shot competitions in the field. Para-Sport swimming events are set to be contested over the 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m distance for freestyle, 50m and 100m distances for breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly and 150m and 200m Individual Medley races.

New Zealand enjoys great success at an elite level in the sport of Para-Cycling and the Road Race and Road Time Trial events for two-wheel, handcycle and tricycles is sure to prove popular.

Para-Sport Archery competitions will be held for indoor and target events with Lawn Bowls including B1-B4 competitions for visually impaired bowlers and B5-B8 classes for varying degrees of ambulant and wheelchair bowlers.

Table Tennis (Wheelchair and Standing), Tennis (Wheelchair)and Triathlon will also feature.