Athletics is a sport that provides an exciting range of opportunities for disabled people. It provides a mixture of events and sport classes for everyone to enjoy, develop and learn new skills whether participating, volunteering or coaching.
Welsh Athletics has a long tradition of success at World and European Championships as well as Paralympic and Commonwealth Games. Athletes such as Aled Sion Davies (F42/44), Rhys Jones (T37), Olivia Breen (T35-38), Hollie Arnold (F46), James Ledger (T12), Morgan Jones (T47) and Beverly Jones (F37) have all enjoyed success at the highest level and achieved medals on the world stage.
Welsh Athletics works in partnership with a range of organisations and local authorities including; British Athletics and Disability Sport Wales to support the development of accessible opportunities for all athletes across Wales. A number of clubs are currently involved in the Disability Sport Wales InSport Club programme offering a range of opportunities for anyone to join as athletes, coaches, officials or volunteers.
The Classifications System
Classification is an integral part of disability athletics to ensure fair competition. Within the sport there are defined classification groups and each group is subdivided into classes depending on the level of impairment. There are strict criteria attached to each class. For further information see the IPC guidance and the British Athletics coaching website uCoach's video and information and advice on Disability Terminology.
Inclusive Athletics Coaching
Welsh Athletics deliver a full pathway of accessible coach education opportunities and within the coach education pathway we aim to ensure that there is equal opportunity for interested leaders and coaches to take an appropriate coaching or leadership qualification. All coach education opportunities delivered by Welsh Athletics operate using the Coach Education Equal Opportunities Policy. Existing coaches qualified at Level 2 or Athletics Coach have access to UK Disability Training for Athletics via uLearn. Useful resources providing specific guidance for working with and in particular, coaching athletes with a disability can be found on uCoach. The British Blind Sport Guide for Supporting Visually Impaired Adults and Children in Athletics is another useful resource.
Teaching Inclusive Athletics
The needs of individual pupils should be the most important consideration when planning any lesson, and teachers should exercise their professional judgement and expertise in selecting and modifying activities. Pupils with physical, sensory and intellectual impairments take part in athletics at all levels. They can, and should, be integrated into activity alongside non-disabled pupils. It is important to find out in advance if any pupils attending your lessons are disabled so you can discuss with them (and their parents/guardian if necessary) if, and how, this may impact on the activities that you are asking them to do. This will allow you to plan in advance to provide any necessary support and to adapt any activities as necessary. For useful information on the various impairments and some ‘Top Tips’ on how to adapt your teaching practice to ensure all pupils are engaged in the activity and their learning see the Run, Jump, Throw Inclusion and Inclusion Support Cards.