Athletics

Historically, Para Athletics’ only event was wheelchair racing and was organized as rehabilitation efforts for disabled World War II veterans. However, come the 1960s, the then para-athletes dedicated themselves to raise awareness about Para Athleticism. Since then, their efforts were handsomely rewarded as Athletics for the disabled grew exponentially. Furthermore, the influence of technological advancements has also allowed para-sports to achieve feats once thought unimaginable; some athletes compete in wheelchairs while others are equipped with prostheses. With both factors combined, Para Athletics now boasts the largest number of events and participating athletes than any other sport at the Paralympics.

Modern Para Athletics consists of a range of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, and throwing. In fact, because masses are often drawn toward the heroics of the swift sprinter, the tenacity of the distance runner, and the herculean feat of the thrower, Track & Field is often touted as the showcase event at the Paralympic Games. Track events in the Paralympic Program (Singapore) includes the distances of 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, and 1500m. Field events include Javelin Throw, Club Throw, Shot Put and Long Jump. Though some events have specific classifications, Para-Athletics is generally open to athletes from both genders of all disability groups.

To be eligible for Para Athletics, a person must have the eligible corresponding impairment type. There are 10 of them—8 are physical impairment types, as well as visual impairment and intellectual impairment:

Impairment TypeDescription
Impaired Muscle PowerMuscles in the limbs or trunk are either partially or completely paralysed as a consequence of conditions such as spinal cord injury or spina bifida (i.e., following a nerve injury).
Impaired Passive Range of MovementThe range of movement in one or more joints is permanently reduced as a result of trauma, illness or congenital deficiency.
Limb DeficiencyA total or partial absence of bones or joints from birth, as a consequence of trauma or illness (i.e., amputation).
AtaxiaA lack of muscle co-ordination because of problems with the central nervous system that controls movement and balance.
AthetosisInvoluntary movements in limbs arising from problems in the central nervous system (i.e., consequence of cerebral palsy).
HypertoniaAbnormal increase in muscle tension in tandem with the reduced flexibility in muscles, joint stiffness, and poor postural adaptation and balance, due to a compromised central nervous system
Short StatureStanding height and limb length are reduced due to conditions such as achondroplasia and osteogenesis imperfecta.
Leg Length DifferenceMinimum of a 7cm difference between leg lengths due to trauma, illness or congenital conditions.
Visual ImpairmentVision is compromised either by an impairment of the eye structure, optical pathways, or the visual cortex.
Intellectual ImpairmentLimited intellectual functions and adaptive behaviour which must be diagnosed before the age of 18.

There are also Sport Class Classifications, which ensures that athletes with impairments that have similar impacts on sport performance will compete against each other. The classifications for Para-Athletics can be found here.

Benefits of Athletics

From getting you physically fit to building your tenacity/perseverance, Athletics certainly plays a significant role in grooming a fine athlete. However, it can also help build character through improving one’s physical and mental tenacity, and psychological confidence. For instance, wheelchair racers can gain lower body independence in tandem with strengthening their core muscles and improve joint flexibility. Track and field athletes also achieve greater limb and core strength, as well as increased hip mobility. In all, being active will undoubtedly prove advantageous for any individual.

Training

Please contact Mr. Loh if you have any inquiries and/or are interested to attend training.

Please provide a doctor’s memo as it will be useful for the coach to understand your condition, assess your eligibility and alter the training programme accordingly.

Contact Name: Mr Loh Ngiap Kiang
Email: lohnk@sdsc.org.sg

 

Physical Impairment

Day: Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Venue: Home of Athletics @ Kallang

Intellectual Impairment

Day: Every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
Time: 4.30pm – 6.30pm (Mon & Wed), 9am – 11am (Sat)
Venue: Ngee Ann Polytechnic Stadium (Mon & Wed), Bishan Stadium (Sat)