29/07/2022

Parasport at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham

Birmingham 2022 opening ceremony

Birmingham 2022 features the Commonwealth Games’ largest integrated parasport programme ever.

Events for athletes with a disability were first included at the Games back in 1994, with exhibition events in athletics and lawn bowls.

But para sport has never had such an extensive programme than this year, where athletes will compete in 42 events across eight sports, four events more than were on the Gold Coast programme four years ago.

Here is what is going on in Birmingham over the next ten days...

Wheelchair basketball (3x3)

Fast, frantic and ferocious – wheelchair basketball adds a thrilling new dynamic to the Commonwealth Games para-programme.

Both men’s and women’s competitions will take place in Smithfield, with the medal matches for both taking place on Tuesday August 2.

Host nation England and Northern Ireland are two of the six teams competing in the men’s event, while England and Scotland represent the Home Nations in the women’s tournament.

Both events will see teams compete in two groups of three, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals.

Check out when we trained with Wheelchair Basketball Birmingham club here

Table tennis

The addition of para table tennis to the Games will see 32 athletes compete across four medal events at the NEC arena.

There are 11 classifications ratified by the ITTF, with classes 1-5 are for those in wheelchairs, while 6-10 are for those who are able to play standing.

Four competitions will take place, all starting next Wednesday (August 3); men’s singles C3-5, men’s singles C8-10, women’s singles C3-5 and women’s singles C6-10.

Athletics

15 para athletics events will take place, with 13 of these track and field disciplines taking centre stage at the Alexander Stadium,

One of the core sports of the Games, athletics always provides some of the most memorable moments from multi-sport events and Birmingham looks well placed to continue this tradition.

Keep an eye out for Paralympic legend (seven-time gold medallist) Hannah Cockcroft, who makes her debut for team England in the T33/34 100m.

Check out what happened when we visited Leeds AC Wheelchair Racing - our May 2021 Club of the Month.

Lawn bowls

Lawn Bowls is the only parasport to feature at Birmingham that isn’t part of the Paralympic Games, meaning the Commonwealth Games will be the pinnacle for many taking part.

Three gold medals will be available with the men’s and women’s B6-8 pairs events joined by the mixed pairs B2-3 event, for visually impaired athletes.

Held at the spiritual home of the sport in Victoria Park, Leamington Spa, the three events take place across the first seven days of the Games (Friday 29 July-5 August) and promises to be one of the highlights of the Games.

Look out for Kieran Rollings and Craig Bowler going for gold for hosts England in the men’s pairs.

Check out our June 2022 Club of the Month winners here

Triathlon

Sutton Park is the venue for five triathlon races at the Commonwealth Games, with two of those parasport events.

There will be a women’s and men’s PTVI event for competitors who are visually impaired.

Nine will compete in the women’s race along with their respective sighted guides, with hosts England fielding both Melissa Reid and Katie Crowhurst.

The men’s race features 11 athletes from six nations again all with a guide, with David Ellis, Oscar Kelly and Iain Dawson going for Team England. Rhys Jones (Wales) and Olivier Gunning (Northern Ireland) will join them on the start line in Sutton Park.

Swimming

Over a whirlwind five days of action at the only brand new venue in Birmingham – the Sandwell Aquatics Centre – 12 parasport swimming events will take place.

The programme is rounded off by both the men’s and women’s 200m freestyle S14 events, with the finals taking place in the evening session on Wednesday 3rd August.

Watch out for six-time Paralympic champion Bethany Firth, who will be looking to win her maiden Commonwealth medal for Northern Ireland in that very race, as she bids to complete her medal collection.

Check out our May 2022 Club of the Month winners here

Cycling

Action from the velodrome always guarantees one of the best atmospheres at the Commonwealth Games and four para-cycling events will feature this time around.

We will get the see the thrills and spills of both the men’s and women’s sprint races, as well as a tandem 1km time trial event, again for both genders.

Day one (Friday 29 July) sees the women’s sprint competition and the men’s time trial. We then return to LeeValley VeloPark on Sunday to see the men’s sprint and women’s time trial.

Stephen Bate and James Ball will be a going head-to-head (England v Wales) in the men’s tandem time trial.

Check out our August 2021 Club of the Month winners here

Powerlifting

A unique event to parasport, powerlifting is a hugely demanding test of strength and should entertain and enthral spectators at the NEC.

Competing in male and female classes by body weight, Para Powerlifters aim to lift the heaviest weight possible.

Four events will be held; men’s lightweight, men’s heavyweight, women’s lightweight, women’s heavyweight and they all take place on Thursday August 4.

One to watch is Scotland’s co-flagbearer Mickey Yule. The Paralympic bronze medallist from Tokyo, has twice finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games and the patriotic Scot will be desperate to bring a medal back home.  

How can I keep up to date with the Commonwealth Games?

BBC will have live coverage throughout the games on television, radio and online, with dedicated online streams so you can watch your favourite events in full.

If the Commonwealth Games inspires you to take part, you can search for your local parasport clubs by clicking the link below.

Find a club near you.