Performance Pathways

Performance pathways are a vital component in the performance structure of sport. They create progression for talented athletes in their chosen sport to develop from participation level to elite level. Disability Sport NI works closely with each focus sport to create mass participation, then further the development of talented athletes to create world class performers.


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In 1994, Wheelchair Rugby was officially recognised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as a Paralympic sport, and was recognised as a full medal sport for the first time at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney.

Men and women compete in the same teams and in the same competitions.  Players are assigned a sport classification based on their level of disability; teams must field players with a mix of classification values, allowing players with different functional abilities to compete together.  To learn more about classification in Wheelchair Rugby please click here
Northern Ireland currently has one wheelchair rugby team, the Ulster Barbarians who compete in the Irish league and have competed in Bernt Best and the Crushers Cup.  The Ulster Barbarians were set up in April 2013 and are currently working with Disability Sport NI to progress the sport of Wheelchair Rugby in Northern Ireland.
The Ulster Barbarians train on Monday nights at Antrim Forum between 7pm - 9pm.  If you would more information on how to become a player or volunteer for this club please contact: Bernard Rooney T: 0777 0777265 or 

Tag Rugby 
Tag Rugby for those with learning disabilities is an ever growing and popular activity across the province. There are currently eight rugby clubs throughout Ulster with specific sections for people with a disability the most recent addition being the Portadown Panthers.
Ulster Rugby recently appointed a Disability & Inclusion Officer, to promote the sport of rugby and create opportunities for those who have a physical; learning or sensory disability. 
For further information please contact: TIM CRAIG (Disability and Inclusion Officer) 07442490460