International Competition

We believe in creating opportunities for everyone, whatever their disability, to get involved and take part in sport and recreational activity. We are making a huge difference in the lives of disabled people across Northern Ireland.

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Disability Sport NI takes great pride when athletes from Northern Ireland compete in International Competitions and we support local athletes were possible.  

Athletes from Northern Ireland have the option of choosing to compete either for Ireland or Great Britain. Disability Sport NI can support the athlete’s decision through communicating with the relevant sporting organisations.
Athletes wishing to compete in any international competition must be classified.  For more information on Classification please go to the classification section on our website.


The Paralympic Games is the second largest sporting event in the world and is the pinnacle of an athlete’s career. The Paralympic Games are held every four years and since 1988 have been held in the same venue as the Olympic Games. 

Both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games are open to athletes with physical disabilities or athletes who are Blind/Partially Sighted and for the first time since 2000 athletes with learning disabilities are included in a small number of events. Northern Ireland Summer Paralympians came home from London 2012 with five Gold Medals, and two bronze medals, the most successful region in the UK in terms of Gold Medals secured per million of population.  Northern Ireland’s only Winter Paralympian, Kelly Gallagher made sporting history for Team GB by securing their first ever Gold Medal at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games. 


INAS-FID  is an international charity and the recognised International Federation (IOSD) for athletes with an intellectual disability. It is a global organisation that promotes inclusion through sport and is a full member of the International Paralympic Committee representing intellectual disability.

INAS manage an annual programme of more than 15 regional and World Championship competitions working closely with the International Federations for Sport, maintain regional and World records/rankings, and manage the eligibility process (athlete classification) for athletes with an intellectual disability.

Every 4 years INAS-FID host the INAS Global games – a celebration of sport for elite athletes with an intellectual disability that includes World Championship competition in 7 sports.

Athletes that compete in INAS-FID competitions can also compete in IPC Events if their specific classification event is at that competition.


The Deaflympics is the sporting pinnacle for athletes who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing, providing elite sport for athletes in both summer and winter sports. The Deaflympics are held every four and are sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee. Similar to the Paralympic Games, athletes from Northern Ireland can represent Ireland or Great Britain at the Deaflympics . 

Key Performance Sports Organisations

British Paralmypic Association (BPA)

As the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) for Great Britain, it is our responsibility to select, prepare, enter, fund and manage the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the Paralympic Games. This team is known as ParalympicsGB.

Website: British Paralympic Association 

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7842 5789


Paralympics Ireland 

Paralympics Ireland is the National Paralympic Committee for Ireland and is responsible for preparing and managing the Irish team at the Paralympic Games.

Website: Paralympics Ireland 

Telephone: +353 (1) 625 1175

Email: (Office Administrator)

UK Sports Association for people with Learning Disability

UKSA's role is unique as it is the only organisation for sport for people with learning disability that has a truly UK wide remit and its has the responsibility for classification of athletes with learning disability in the UK.

Website: UKSA

Telephone: 020 7490 3057