What is Para Athletics?

Para Athletics offers a wide range of competitions and events, and always attracts a large number of spectators. Track events include sprint (100m, 200m, 400m), middle distance (800m, 1500m), long distance (3000m, 5000m) and relay (4x100m). Field events include long jump, club throw, discus, shot put and javelin.

Who Can Take Part?

Everyone can take part in athletics. Athletes compete according to their functional classification in each event. Cerebral Palsy impairment types are included in the coordination impairment classes – ataxia, athetosis and hypertonia.


In athletics, the classification classes consists of a prefix of T or F and a
number. The prefix T stands for track and the F stands for field. Ataxia, athetosis and hypertonia are allocated classes T31-T38 and F31-38. The ability to control legs, trunk, arms and/or hand function are typically affected. The lower the number is, the more severe the activity limitation.

Athletes in classes 31-34 compete in a seated position, e.g. in a racing wheelchair or using a throwing chair. By contrast, athletes in the sport classes 35-38 have increased function in their legs and increased trunk control so therefore compete standing, e.g. in running events, long jump or throwing events.

What Athletics Can I Do?

Click here to download the ‘What Sports Can I Do? Athletics’ poster which categorises athletics events depending on GMFCS level.

World Para Athletics

World Para Athletics (WPA) are a subcommittee of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and are the governing body for para athletics. WPA organise regional and world championships, as well as classification of athletes.