Skip to main content

Who we are

1 in 4 New Zealanders identify as disabled.

Our passion is giving everybody, of every ability, the opportunity to reach their full potential.

We inspire disabled people to become involved in sport and active recreation by showcasing opportunties and pathways.

We enable by making it easy to become involved and by providing funding.

And most importantly, our members achieve.

Latest news

Keep up to date with our community



We’re 15% of the world.

People with disabilities are 15% of our world.


WeThe15 is sport’s biggest ever human rights movement to end discrimination. We aim to transform the lives of the world’s 1.2 billion persons with disabilities who represent 15% of the global population.


WeThe15 will campaign to break down barriers

Launching at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, WeThe15 plans to initiate change over the next decade by bringing together the biggest coalition ever of international organisations from the world of sport, human rights, policy, communications, business, arts and entertainment.

At a time when diversity and inclusion are hot topics, the 15% who have a disability want effective change to remove the inequality and inactivity. Like race, gender and sexual orientation, we want to have a movement all persons with disabilities can rally behind. A global movement that is publicly campaigning for disability visibility, inclusion and accessibility.

WeThe15 will shine a light on 15% of the world’s population. It will build greater knowledge of the barriers and discrimination persons with disabilities face on a daily basis at all levels of society. By doing so we will break down these barriers so all persons with disabilities can fulfil their potential and be active and visible members of an inclusive society.

Get Involved


Paralympic Classifications Explained

Paralympic Classifications Explained

Ever wondered what the Paralympic Classifications mean, well here's a simple guide.



The International Paralympic Committee explain classification provides a structure for competition. Athletes competing in Para sports have an impairment that leads to a competitive disadvantage. The system in place to aims minimise the impact of impairments on sport performance and to ensure the success of an athlete is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus.

Classification determines who is eligible to compete in a Para sport and it groups the eligible athletes in sport classes according to their activity limitation in a certain sport.

The Paralympic Movement offers sport opportunities for athletes with physical, vision and/or intellectual impairments that have at least one of the 10 eligible impairments identified.

1. Impaired muscle power

2. Impaired passive range of movement

3. Limb deficiency

4. Leg length difference

5. Short stature

6. Hypertonia - an increase in muscle tension and a reduced ability of a muscle to stretch caused by damage to the central nervous system.

7. Ataxia - uncoordinated movements caused by damage to the central nervous system.

8. Athetosis - continual slow involuntary movements

9. Vision impairment (VI)

10. Intellectual Impairment

Classification systems differ by sport and are developed by the International Federations (IF) governing the sport. 

IFs decide which eligible impairments their sport will cater for. Some Paralympic sports are only designed for athletes with one eligible impairment type. Goalball, for example, is only open to athletes with a vision impairment. Other sports, such as athletics and swimming, are open to athletes with any of the 10 eligible impairments.


What about sport classes?

A sport class is a category which groups athletes depending on how much their impairment impacts performance in their sport. Therefore, a sport class is not necessarily comprised of one impairment type alone, but can be made up of athletes with different impairments. However, these different impairments affect sport performance to a similar extent. For example, you will find athletes with paraplegia and double above-knee amputation competing in the same sport class in athletics because their different impairments have a comparable effect on their ability to race 1,500m in a wheelchair using arm propulsion.

In individual sports, athletes should compete against athletes in their own sport class to ensure the impact of impairment is minimised. In national events and smaller international competitions athletes in different sport classes may compete together for one medal, because there are not enough athletes for each sport class to create a competitive event. In these cases, and in some sports, athletes in different sport classes are given a ‘coefficient’ or correction score to account for the different levels of activity limitation.


How is an athlete classified?

A sport class is allocated through athlete evaluation by a panel of classifiers. Each International Federation trains and certifies classifiers to conduct athlete evaluation in its sport. Classifiers assessing athletes with the various physical impairments listed above either have a medical or paramedical background and/or are technical experts in their sport. Classifiers for athletes with a vision impairment have a background in ophthalmology or optometry. Psychologists and sport experts are responsible for the classification of athletes with an intellectual impairment.


Want to know more, check out the IPC Explanatory Guide.


Sport Development Officer Appointed

dsport is pleased to announce the appointment of the first full-time Sport Development Officer.

Yarride Rosario joins dsport in mid-July to take up the role. Yarride has a wealth of experience in sport including representing New Zealand in athletics at the Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010, coaching athletes himself and previously working at the ASB Sports Centre in Kilbirnie.

For Yarride, “I’m most looking forward to meeting all the amazing people and athletes who make up the dsport community and getting hands on in creating successful programmes. From experience, the most important part of sports programming to me is engagement, inclusivity and most of all, fun!” 

Most recently, Yarride has been working within the school environment, managing a recreation and tuition programme, including working with students with physical disabilities and special needs.

dsport Manager, Catriona McBean, said “We are thankful to the Minister of Sport, Grant Robertson, who through funding to Sport New Zealand for enhancing disability sport, has enabled us to create this position. For many years dsport has been wanting to expand our programmes and services but has been constrained financially from doing so. Now, with this dedicated funding, we are able to enhance our capacity to deliver more for disability sport in the greater Wellington Region.”

“We believe the skills and experience Yarride brings to the role will complement and expand those we already have, particularly in the schools space. The first priority for Yarride will be taking the lead role for the Youth Group programme (for 5-18 year olds), as well as the Sport Development programme. I can’t wait for Yarride to start, I’ve got so many projects for him to get right into” said Catriona.



Keep up to date with our latest updates