The Para-sport Equipment Fund is a joint initiative of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) and Sport Australia, supported by the APC’s sponsors and donors.
It is designed to provide opportunities for young Para-athletes to participate in Para-sport by addressing the challenges of the high cost and availability of Para-sport equipment. Delivered in partnership with national federations, a major initiative of the Para-sport Equipment Fund is an ‘asset bank’ of loan equipment, which aims to offer a range of equipment access solutions for young Australians with disabilities who would like to participate in Para-sport, but are unable to outlay the $16,000 it costs to purchase a fully customised wheelchair rugby chair, for example.
The Para-sport Equipment Fund is expected to encourage a greater level of participation in Para-sport.
More information will be distributed in the coming weeks, including available equipment support programs and locations. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to lodge an expression of interest, please contact the APC’s General Manager, Performance, Paul Kiteley, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
“For people with disabilities to participate in sport, there are lots of barriers, and the financial barrier is one of the biggest. The financial barrier was taken away from me by my town and the Para-sport Equipment Fund is a replication of that across the country. Sport Australia and the Australian Paralympic Committee are in the business of excellence in sport, but also lifelong physical activity for Australians, and this right here is another step in the right direction to make sure all of our community have access to something that I love and something that changed my world. We will see the benefits of this in the next decade and decades to come. This is directly affecting the lives of Australians.”
“Discovering sport that was designed for people like me changed my entire perspective and I want that to be a possibility for every person with a disability. One of the biggest barriers to participation in Para-sport is the equipment – the cost of it – so the Para-sport Equipment Fund is going to change so many people’s lives.”
“Growing up, I loved sport. I was addicted to it. I followed sport as much as I could, but I never found a sport I could play. And when I did find that sport, it really gave me a sense of satisfaction. It gave me something to strive towards. It gave me a massive network of people and friends that I still have to this day. Sport provides all those opportunities and disability should not be a barrier to feeling those things. For athletes with severer impairments, just getting to the start line requires a number of different logistical arrangements and a lot of financial expenditure. So the Para-sport Equipment Fund is a massive step in the right direction. It is going to go a long way towards removing that financial barrier and giving people with disabilities more of an opportunity to get engaged in sport.”