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Parallel Success in Northern Ireland


Athletics Northern Ireland will create the best environment for everyone in the sport to achieve their maximum potential.

Athletics Northern Ireland, the governing body for the sport of Athletics in Northern Ireland, has in the past few years developed a structure to ensure that there will be open access for all those who wish to participate in our sport. The structure aims to make appropriate athletics disciplines as widely available as possible, ensuring that all athletes are treated fairly. Athletes from Northern Ireland have had the opportunity to compete at the highest level and there are currently two Paralympic Gold medallists in Northern Ireland, Jason Smyth; 100 and 200m and Michael McKillop; 800m.

For disabled athletes this has included providing a number of pathways offering integrated opportunities to participate. These include the following:

Taster Sessions

Invites are sent to school throughout Northern Ireland for disabled athletes to attend a taster session of athletics. The session is usually held in September and if an athlete achieves the appropriate level of performance they will be invited to regional development squads. All athletes will be directed to clubs for future training opportunities.

Regional Development Squads

Disabled athletes are includd in the regional development squad structure with 6 coaching sessions provided throughout the year by some of Northern Ireland's top coaches. There is also a development competition at the end of the squads and all athletes are given the opportunity to compete. Athletics Northern Ireland has a number of racing wheelchairs available for athletes who are wheelchair users and this is an excellent opportunity to get a chance to use these specialised chairs.

Competition Structure

These are opportunities to compete locally with events in the competition programme throughout the year. These have included open meetings and the Ulster Schools Athletics Association has a number of events for disabled athletes. Athletics Northern Ireland will also provide national level competition.

For more information on squads, taster days and competiton please contact Jackie McKernan on:

Phone: 028 90 602707
Email: jackie@niathletics.org
Website: www.niathletics.org

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