Northcott’s guide to the Para-Sport Program at the 2018 Commonwealth Games

By Luisa Bustos, 3 April 2018 , Comments

The 2018 Commonwealth Games kick off on the Gold Coast today, Wednesday 4 April. We’re particularly excited about the integrated Para-Sport Program which is being touted as the largest in Commonwealth Games history. Up to 300 para-athletes are set to compete in 38 medal events across seven sports with these competitions interspersed with events for able-bodied athletes.

This quick guide should help you learn more about the Para-Sport Program so you can choose the events and athletes to follow.

Sports to watch

The Para-Sport Program comprises athletics events (including the wheelchair T54 marathon and para-triathlon, both making their debut), swimming, lawn bowls, powerlifting, track cycling, table tennis and triathlon.

The table below details each event in the seven sports and the days on which these events are running. Check the links for the time and date, but remember the Para-Sport Program is fully integrated into the Games Schedule so it can be hard to find the exact time for the para-sport event.

Sport 

Event

Date

Aquatics/Swimming

Women – 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 100m Breaststroke, 200m Individual Medley, 50m Butterfly, 100m Backstroke  
Men – 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle 100m Backstroke, , 100m Breaststroke, 200m Individual Medley,

5 April-10 April

Athletics

Women: Marathon, 1500m, Long Jump, T38 100m, T35 100m, Javelin
Men: Marathon, 1500m, T12 100m, T38 100m, T47 100m, Shot Put

8 April – 15 April

Cycling (Track)

Women: Sprint B&VI, 1000m Time Trial B&VI
Men: Sprint B&VI, 1000m Time Trial B&VI

5 April – 8 April

Lawn Bowls

Men/Women: B2/B3 Mixed Pairs and B6/B7/B8 Open Triples

5 April – 13 April

Para powerlifting

Women: Lightweight, Heavyweight
Men: Lightweight, Heavyweight

10 April

Triathlon

Women/Men: PT1

7 April

Table Tennis

Women/Men: TT6-10 Singles

5 April – 15 April

NB – In case you’re wondering about the meaning of codes such as T54, T38, B2/B3, TT10, PT1, etc… – these are universal classifications for para-sports which determine the eligibility of athletes.

Who to watch

Australia’s Commonwealth Games Team includes 61 para-athletes so there will be lots of action to follow.

We will be watching five-time Paralympian Kurt Fearnley, who is a former Northcott customer and an Ambassador for GC2018. Kurt will be competing in the 1500m track event (Monday 9 April, 12pm) and the T54 wheelchair marathon (6:10am, Sunday 15 April), which will be the first ever wheelchair marathon event at the Commonwealth Games.

Watch this video from Kurt about his role as Ambassador and competitor

Other Para-Sport athletes and teams to watch include:

  • The six-strong para-triathlon team who are set to be strong contenders.
  • Jessica Gallagher, who is making her Commonwealth Games debut in the Para-Cycling team.
  • Evan O’Hanlon, one of the most experienced team members and a three-time Paralympian and winner of five Paralympic and eight world titles. Evan is competing in the men’s 100m track event.
  • Melissa Tapper, who will represent Australia in both able-bodied and para Table Tennis competitions, becoming the first Australian athlete to do so at the Commonwealth Games.
  • Para Powerlifter, Leigh Skinner, who is competing in his third Commonwealth Games alongside Kelly Cartwright, Cristine Ashcroft, Ben Wright and Nang Nguyen in the para powerlifting competition.

How to watch

Channel 7 is Australia’s official broadcaster for the GC2018. You will be able to follow all the action live on television, online or through 7’s Commonwealth Games app – 7CommGames (available from the App Store).

You can also stay updated with results and the schedule at the Commonwealth Games website  

Opening and Closing Ceremonies

As GC2018 is an inclusive and fully integrated sporting event, the opening and closing ceremonies will feature all athletes. The para-sport athletes will march alongside their able-bodied team mates at both ceremonies.

The Opening Ceremony is on Wednesday 4 April at 7:00pm and the Closing Ceremony is on Sunday 15 April at 7:30pm and can be viewed on Channel 7.

Related content

Are you watching some winning athletes and now feel inspired to get active – check out our guide to winter sports for children with disability.

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