Runner Jaryd Clifford running for Australia on the track.

Para-Athletics was founded in 1952 and has been part of the Paralympic Games since 1960. Always attracting the highest number of spectators, the sport offers a wide range of competitions and events and is open to male and female athletes in all impairment groups.

Athletes compete according to their functional classification in each event. Some compete in wheelchairs and some with prostheses, while those who are visually impaired receive guidance from a sighted guide.

The events include:

  • Track: sprint (100m, 200m, 400m); middle distance (800m, 1,500m); long distance (5,000m, 10,000m) and relay races (4x100m, 4x400m).
  • Field: high jump, long jump, triple jump, discus, shot put, javelin.

Para-Athletics follows the same rules as able-bodied athletics, apart from the different equipment regulations. 

Wheelchairs, prosthetic devices, rope tethers for visual impairment or other approved assistance are all considered to be equipment in track and field events, and can all be modified to suit the para-athletics environment.

The sport has an unlimited age-span, and is available to all those who wish to get involved. 

There are a range of disability groups that are eligible to compete in para-athletics. These disability groups are separated into classifications to ensure fair competition.

Athletes must undergo specific Athlete Evaluation to obtain a classification.


Rules & Equipment 

Most Para-athletics disciplines, including discus, javelin, shot put and wheelchair racing, require specific sport equipment. Additionally, athletes may use assistive devices including prosthetics, rope tethers and acoustic devices.

Rope tethers and other similar devices may be used by runners with a vision impairment to link them to their sighted guides, and acoustic devices (or a sighted ‘caller’) may be used to indicate throwing targets, take-off in jumping events, etc. 



What is a vision impairment?

A vision impairment is an impairment of the eye structure, optical nerves or pathways, or visual cortex, which impacts the vision in both eyes.

What are the classes?

Athletes are grouped into classes in accordance with the classification rules. An athlete’s class is based on how their impairment impacts the movement skills required in their sport.

Athletes are given classifications with the prefix ‘T’ for track events and ‘F’ for field events.

How do I get Classified? 

You can be Classified by following this link and submitting your relevant details. 



Contact Information 

National Federation 

Athletics Australia – 

State Federations 

Athletics ACT – 

Athletics NSW – 

Athletics NT – 

Athletics QLD – 

Athletics SA – 

Athletics TAS – 

Athletics VIC – 

Athletics WA – 

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