Athletics has been part of the Paralympic Games since 1960 and always attracts the largest number of spectators. The sport offers a wide range of competitions and events and is open to male and female athletes in all impairment groups.
Athletes compete according to their impairment classification in each event; from track events like the 100m sprint, to field events that include shot put, discus and high jump. Advances in technology and athletes' dedication to the sport have made once unimaginable feats become realities. Some compete in wheelchairs, others with prostheses and athletes with a visual impairment compete with the help of sighted guide.
Elite athletes are one side of the sport, and there is a wealth of opportunities for would-be medallists, but there are just as many chances for social participants to get involved and socialise with their peers.
Integration in the truest sense is the ultimate aim of Athletics New Zealand, and the organisation has created a pathway that begins with the Paralympics New Zealand's High Performance Programme for disability sport in Athletics. Athletics New Zealand is committed to broadening the base of and promoting disabled athletes, improving international rankings, expanding advanced coaching and enhancing all levels of disabled athlete performance.