To celebrate the International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPD), we look at the different sporting opportunities that UK universities offer para-athletes.

The International Day of People with Disabilities aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities around the world.

With the rapid growth of para-sport around the world, brands such as Para Sport, which were created to strengthen the Paralympic Movement aim to educate and empower Para athletes. Their mission is to develop pathways for Para athletes to compete at all levels.

This year’s Commonwealth Games showcased what inclusivity in competitive sport can look like as they put on their largest-ever integrated para-sports programme.

Held in the UK this summer, the games were the only major multi-sport event with an integrated para program which consisted of 43 events across eight different sports.

We take a look at the rise of para-sport in the UK and highlight the different sports that are available to para-athletes at the UK university level.

Para Sports at UK Universities

Universities across the UK offer a broad and inclusive range of Para sport opportunities. From Rowing to Table Tennis, students have the opportunity to get involved in a number of different sports at both a competitive and social level.

In fact, there are 14 sports currently a part of BUCS (British University and College Sport). Each sport is highly competitive within UK universities, with events for each sport held alongside its able-bodied equivalent. 

Para-sport events take place throughout the year and are run by the governing body of UK university sport, BUCS. Students may also have additional playing opportunities in events run by external sport governing bodies.

Student can get involved in the following Para sports whilst studying at a UK university:

  • Adaptive Rowing (3 Events)
  • Archery (3 Events)
  • Athletics (2 Events)
  • Badminton (2 Events)
  • Cycling (7 Events)
  • Golf (10 Individual Tour Events)
  • Judo (1 Event)
  • Powerlifting (1 Event) 
  • Swimming (3 Events)
  • Table Tennis (2 Events)
  • Taekwondo (3 Events)
  • Triathlon (3 Events)
  • Wheelchair Basketball (Leagues)
  • Wheelchair Tennis (1 Event)

UK university students selected for Paralympic World Class Programme

Studying in UK universities offers unique and fulfilling opportunities to student para-athletes. Last month, British Athletics announced which para-athletes were chosen as part of the UK Sport Paralympic World Class Programme for the upcoming season.

Within the cohort were 10 current student para-athletes from UK universities. Through this initiative student, para-athletes will have the opportunity to represent their country at the national level with the chance to progress to World and European Championships, and even the Paralympic Games.

How we can help you to compete in a para sport at a UK university

Whether you are looking to compete at the highest level or simply want to be part of a para sport club socially, we can help find the right university for you to pursue your sporting ambitions alongside your education in the UK!

Learn more about how our free service works via the link below.

Please follow our social media channels to keep up to date with all things sport related across the Higher Education sector!