The classification codes in the Paralympics can be very complicated to understand. So, let’s have a little look at the methodology and see if we can make some sense of it!
After a long history of classifying athletes and lessons learned in the process, they are now assessed both on what their disability is and how that disability affects the sport they want to participate in. The IPC (Paralympics) assesses a bit differently to the codes you may have come across for things like spinal cord injury, instead grouping athletes based on how it may impact fair competition.
Eligible impairments include: Impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, cognitive function, involuntary movements, muscle tension, uncoordinated movements, short stature and vision impairment. The athletes have to go through a lengthy assessment process, often waiting years to have access to the classification process, or making appeals to be registered in the right category. The assessment process tries to answer 3 main questions:
1. Does the athlete have an Eligible Impairment for this sport?
2. Does the athlete’s Eligible Impairment meet the Minimum Impairment Criteria of the sport?
3. Which Sport Class should the athlete be allocated in based on the extent to which the athlete is able to execute the specific tasks and activities fundamental to the sport?
If we take a closer look at swimming, we can see that it includes all of the 10 eligible impairments, and offers a large percentage of the medals on offered in Tokyo this year (162 in 2016!). We can start of by looking at the prefix for each event:
The sport class names in swimming consist of a prefix “S” or “SB” and a number. The prefixes stand for the strokes and the number indicates the sport classes.
S: freestyle, butterfly and backstroke events.
SB: breaststroke SM: individual medley.
SM: is given to athletes competing in individual medley events.
There are 10 classes of physical impairment, with the lower number being a more “severe activity limitation”. As the classes and assessments are based on how the impairment impacts swimming, there are people with all different physical disabilities competing in the same races.
S1 SB1 – Swimmers have significant loss of muscle power or control in legs, arms and hands. Some have limited trunk control. Swimmers in this class usually use a wheelchair in daily life.
S10 SB9 – Minimal physical impairments of eligible swimmers. This includes the loss of one hand or a movement restriction of hip joint.
There are also competitions for athletes with vision impairment, with 3 sport classes. The codes used are the same as all of the swimming events with S and SB prefixes denoting the event, but now you may also see with them B1, B2, or B3 denoting the level of visual impairment. S11 and SB11 classes are required to wear blackened goggles to ensure an even competition, and such athletes use a “tapper” to let them know when they are reaching the end of the pool.
S14 swimmers have cognitive impairments that typically affect performance through having difficulty with pattern recognition, sequencing and memory. This can affect sport performance in general and S14 swimmers generally do more strokes relative to speed than able-bodied elite swimmers.
And that’s it! I hope this article can somewhat make things slightly easier to understand when watching the Paralympics. It’s a big event, and there is space for everybody in elite level sport. If there is something that has piqued your interest and you would like to know more about how to get involved with elite level sport, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can point you in the right direction!
Hello to all Golfers for The Whistler Adaptive June 18th Golf Day!
Here are the details about the day!
Address: 4001 Whistler Way, Whistler, BC V8E 1J2
Rules of Play:
We will be playing Texas Scramble;
All members of the foursome tee off from their chosen/usual tee. Then one of these drives* is chosen to be used for the next shot and all members of the team place their balls where the chosen drive ended up, and all the team play a second shot from this spot.
From these second shots, one is chosen and all play a third shot from there – and so on until the ball is holed. Each team returns one score for each hole and the team with the lowest score wins bragging rights.
* Note: a minimum of three tee shots must be chosen from each player during the round.
Now is also the time to download the Club’s free app for team scorekeeping. It can be found in the app store for Apple or Android by searching “Whistler GC”. This app has a live leaderboard and will be preloaded with your team's name/captain, making it easy to see how you stack up throughout your round.
Fun & Games:
> 1st hole - Ready to Smile! Scott Brammer Photography is providing photographs of your foursome/twosome. We encourage teams to create a theme and dress-up to show off their creativity! PRIZE: 4 x Large pizza from WHISTLER DOMINO'S
> 3rd hole - Quench Your Thirst! Thank you to WHISTLER BREWING who will be onsite at this tricky hole!
> 8th hole - Closest to the Pin PRIZE: 4 x $25 Gift Certificates for GREEN LAKE CHEVRON (the whole team wins!)
> 9th hole - Longest Drive - Ladies PRIZE: 4 x One Pizza off the menu from FUNCTIONAL PIE (the whole team wins!)
> 14th hole - Wet Your Palette Once Again! with a taster from BUCHA BREW KOMBUCHA
> 15th hole - Longest Drive - Mens PRIZE: 4 x $50 Gift Certificate and Toque from STINKY’S ON THE STROLL (the whole team wins!)
> 18th green - BIG FINALE! A parting "Thank You" again from WHISTLER BREWING - Everyone's a Winner! And be sure to visit with our staff & volunteers to pick up your voucher and photo.
Last But Not Least:
Don’t forget about our SILENT AUCTION. The Auction is now open - there are many AMAZING items & it’s beginning to get competitive!
Please feel free to reach out to our amazing volunteer committee if you have any questions or would like more information.
We can't wait to see you!
Our Silent Auction is live! Help us to spread the joy of participation in sport and help people in the Sea To Sky gain access to programs that allow them to be Active For Life! We have some incredible products on offer this year from hotel stays and golf retreats, to bobsleigh and gin tasting sessions!
The money we raise will be used to offer programs and bursaries for athletes so that we can offer as much inclusion as possible into sport. We need your help to make that happen, so we invite you take a look around our auction site as we guarantee you will find something you love at a great price!