Athletics Canada releases Becoming Para Ready to support Para Athletics growth in Canada
[Press release by Athletics Canada on November 9, 2021]:
Athletics Canada releases Becoming Para Ready. Guided by the “Becoming Para Ready” framework developed by the Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement, Athletics Canada has developed a national Para Athletics development strategy that will focus on building a strong foundation at the Provincial and Territorial level, creating greater capacity, support and alignment of Para Athletics, including integration and inclusion at all levels.
In 2021, a survey was conducted of Athletics Canada’s Provincial and Territorial Branches, Disability Sport Organizations, athletes, coaches, and other key partners in the delivery and development of Para Athletics, within the domestic landscape in Canada. The results of this outreach highlighted systemic gaps and barriers that may prevent athletes and participants with a disability from having a positive and inclusive experience in sport.
The surveys and interviews showed that barriers within the branches, clubs and with individuals such as limited capacity, knowledge, confidence, funding, and alignment can make it difficult to know where to begin. Key areas such as coaching education, competition, classification and officiating we’re identified as areas of focus. There are also misconceptions and stigma around integration. It’s often assumed that it’s hard and complicated to be integrated but with support, the proper tools and better understanding, we can support all athletes to reach their best potential.
“Becoming Para Ready” was born with the goal to provide a starting point for organizations and individuals in supporting and contributing to the growth of Para Athletics within Canada.
The resource is designed primarily for coaches and administrators who support Athletics in Canada; however, useful information is included that will be relevant to anyone that interacts, supports, and engages with Para athletes. Becoming Para Ready is designed to guide organizations and programs to become more inclusive and develop understanding of the nuances of Para Athletics to better support athletes with a disability.
The resource can be viewed on our temporary Para Athletics page and further information and resources will be available with the launch of our new page.
Where to start?
Are you and your club ready to welcome and support athletes with a disability? Where do you fit on the Para Readiness Continuum? What does this all really mean?
Using the “Becoming Para Ready” framework developed by the Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement, Athletics Canada is developing a national Para Athletics strategy that will focus on building a strong foundation at the Provincial and Territorial level, creating greater capacity, supporting and aligning Para Athletics, and will include integration and inclusion at all levels.
Want to get started on your journey to Para Readiness? Here are a few ways to get out of the starting blocks:
- Take the Coach.ca Coaching Athletes with a Disability module
- Listen to the recording of our webinar Adapting to Adversity
- Read last month’s Coaching newsletter here
- Watch this YouTube video on Para Athletics: https://www.paralympic.org/video/paralympic-sports-z-athletics
BC Athletics Para Athletics Sources
Check out our Para Athletics Resource section for resources that are available to help make sport more inclusive and accessible. Resources range from videos to disability general knowledge to coaching resources and will be continuously updated.