The Guernsey Commonwealth Games Association (GCGA) in partnership with Dr Casey Osborough on behalf of the Guernsey Sports Commission (GSC) and Dr Conor Osborough from the Guernsey Institute of Sport (GIS) are to receive a grant from the Commonwealth Sport Foundation.
The project aims to develop sport pathways and competition opportunities for individuals with an impairment. Dr Casey Osborough, the Lead for Disability and Para-sport for the GSC said “the project will create a better understanding of the effect impairments have on functional mobility and improve talent identification locally. This will enable us to develop and improve para-sport pathways, providing individuals who have an impairment the opportunity and choice to compete in sports.”
One of the objectives of the project is to assist sports in developing para-events either within their current competition schedule or as a separate event. To compete in para-sports at an international level, such as the Commonwealth Games, individuals must gain an IPC (International Paralympic Committee) classification. The purpose of classification is to create a ‘level playing field’ for competition. However, due to the complexity of IPC classification combined with the off-island travel and associated costs, classification can become a barrier for individuals who would like to try a sport at a local level, begin competing or compete in multiple competitions locally. By implementing and adapting current methods of functional mobility groupings, it is possible to eliminate the barrier imposed by IPC classification yet create a level playing field for local competition.
It is not just the para-sports within the Commonwealth Games that the project looks to support. Boccia (a sport similar to petanque) is gaining momentum on the island. Boccia Guernsey looks to host its first official competition in 2022, in partnership with Guernsey Mobility Let’s Go. If you would like further information, please contact Casey Osborough (Casey.Osborough@guernseysports.com ).