Sport and Recreation for people with physical disabilities


Phone (03) 385 4449        Fax (03) 385 4425       Email info@parafedcanterbury.co.nz

Classification is simply a structure for competition to ensure fair and equitable competition. Not unlike wrestling, boxing and weightlifting, where athletes are categorised by weight classes, athletes with disabilities are grouped in classes defined by the degree of function presented by the disability (I.e. What they CAN do).

The following factors will not influence an athlete’s classification:

Classification Examples

Cycling Example 1 - Amputee Athlete

Cycling Example 2 - Wheelchair Athlete

In Paralympic Sport, athletes traditionally fit into one of the following disabilities groups:

 - Amputee

 - Cerebral Palsy

 - Spina Bifida

 - Spinal Cord Injury

 - Visual Impairment

 - Les Autres (a group which includes disabilities that may not fit into the above groups)

Classes are determined by a variety of processes that may include a physical and technical assessment and observation in and out of competition. The classes are defined by each sport and form part of the sports rules.

Basic Introduction / Overview to Classification

Below you can find a basic overview / layman’s guide of the classification system for the sport and are meant as a guide only. They are meant just to give individuals a basic idea of how the Classification system works for that particular sport.  Please click on the link to see the Layman's Guide to the following sports:

- Layman’s Guide to Athletics Classification System

- Layman’s Guide to Swimming Classification System

Provisional Classification

If you would like to compete as an athlete with a disability, you must first receive a provisional classification. You can be assessed and a provisional classification can be allocated to you simply by completing the attached forms relevant to your primary disability.

ParaFed Canterbury can assist members in obtaining a classification.

Paralympics Classification click here for there information