The biggest ever Para Sport Festival (8-14 July, 2024) was launched in Swansea today, unveiling an unprecedented number of top-level tournaments and the hugely popular SPAR insport Series day which will take place this summer.

Designed to inspire and encourage people of all ages and abilities to participate in sport, Welsh Government, Swansea Council, National Governing Bodies of Sport, Swansea University, SPAR and Disability Sport Wales have all come together for a third consecutive year to bring a week-long, multi-sport, multi-venue Festival to the Swansea Bay region.

Building on the incredible success of the last two years, the 2024 Para Sport Festival will be even bigger and better, with more national status tournaments, more competitors from overseas and more opportunities to get involved – as a participant, volunteer or spectator.

This year’s Para Sport Festival begins on Monday 8 July with one of the biggest free participation days on the Disability Sport Wales calendar, when the SPAR insport Series event will take place at Swansea University’s magnificent Singleton Park Campus sports facility. Well in excess of 20 different sports – each brought by local insport Clubs and National Governing Bodies, and delivered under the guidance of qualified coaches – will be available for people of all ages and abilities to come and try for free at the Indoor Athletics Track and outside on the running track and hockey pitch. Local schools will be invited to attend, while individuals and families can also register online.

The Boccia UK Team Championships takes centre stage when it returns for a second year. Taking place over two days (Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 July) the tournament will see a host of competitions including singles, pairs and teams. And of course, Boccia is very special to the area -as Swansea Bay is the home of triple gold medal-winning Paralympian and world number one David Smith OBE.

Shooting has been a strong part of both the previous Para Sport Festivals, and the Welsh Shooting - British Open Championships return in 2024. With a huge number of competitors competing in a wide variety of different categories, the event will be held over three days (from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 July) at Swansea Tennis Centre. Background noise is mandatory, so other events will be taking place at the venue at the same time.

Judo comes to the Para Sport Festival for the first time in 2024, and the EJU Get Together Tour on Saturday 13 July will be one of the biggest tournaments the Festival has hosted. Brought to Swansea by the Welsh Judo and British Judo, the event will attract some of the top para-Judo athletes from across the UK and Europe.

The Welsh Wheelchair Rugby Open returns, and this year it will be even bigger than before with three teams from Wales – Ospreys, Newport Dragons and RGC – competing against teams from England. A very physical sport to play and a thundering spectacle to watch, this high-impact and skilful tournament takes place on Saturday 13 July.

Table Tennis comes to the Para Sport Festival for the first time, with the BPTT Swansea Open taking place on Saturday 13 July. Delivered by British Para Table Tennis, the tournament will include Class Singles, Class Mixed Doubles and Junior Mixed Singles and will be held at Swansea Tennis Centre.

Prior to the main Para Sport Festival week, there will be a Wales Physical Disability Rugby League vs Physical Disability Rugby League All Stars match on Friday 21 June – the day before the World Triathlon Para Series event. The match will see the home nation side play against an invitation home nations team at St Helens.

The day after the rugby league match will be the 2024 World Triathlon Para Series, which returns for a third time to the SA1 Waterfront on Saturday 22 June. The event will welcome the very best para-triathletes from across the world, with Britain’s top para-triathletes competing for vital Paris 2024 Paralympic Games qualification points in front of a home crowd. There are also plans for an event for children and young people, introducing them to the sport and giving them the opportunity to be part of this inspiring event.

2024 Para Sport Festival – provisional timetable of events

Friday 21 June
Wales vs All-Stars XI  — Physical Disability Rugby League
location: St Helens

Saturday 22 June
2024 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea
location: Swansea SA Waterfront

Monday 8 July
insport Series: Swansea
location: Swansea Bay Sports Park, Swansea University

Wednesday 10 - Thursday 11 July
Boccia UK Team Championships
location: LC Swansea

Friday 12 - Sunday 14 July
Welsh Shooting - British Para Open Championships
location: Swansea Tennis Centre

Saturday 13 July
EJU (European Judo Union) Get Together Tournament 2024, Swansea
location: Swansea

Saturday 13 July
Wheelchair Rugby Welsh Open
location: Swansea

Saturday 13 July
British Para Table Tennis Swansea Open
location: Swansea Tennis Centre

The Para Sport Festival 2024 Launch Event

The above calendar of events was unveiled at the Para Sport Festival launch today (Thursday 14 March) – which was attending by representatives from Welsh Government, Swansea Council, National Governing Bodies of Sport, SPAR, Disability Sport Wales and athletes including Aled Sion Davies OBE (the reigning Paralympic, World, Commonwealth and European shot put champion), Michael Jenkins (up and coming para shot putter), Kyron Bishop (Ospreys Wheelchair Rugby player), Kirsty Taylor (para surfer) and Sienna Allen-Chaplin, an amazing 10-year old sporting ‘pocket rocket.’

Pupils from Morriston Comprehensive School, Bishop Vaughan Catholic School, Birchgrove Comprehensive School, Bishopston Comprehensive, Dylan Thomas Community School, Ysgol Pen Y Bryn and Ysgol Heol Goffa were also at the launch, trying out a variety of sports which included golf, wheelchair basketball, football, rugby and table tennis.



Aled Sion Davies OBE said: “When London won the bid to host the 2012 Paralympic Games, for me it was a dream ignited and I knew that I just had to be there and compete at those Games – but I knew it wasn’t going to be in swimming. I’d represented Wales at swimming when I was younger and I knew I would have got there eventually with hard work, but I equally knew that it’s not where my hidden talent was. And I’m a firm believer that everyone has a hidden talent somewhere.

“I got the opportunity to come along to a Disability Sport Wales event, very similar to the Para Sport Festival, in 2005 to try out athletics with a group of elite Paralympians. That’s where I picked up a shot put and discus for the first time and it enabled me to unlock a gift that I didn’t know I had – a hidden talent for throwing. At the same time, it opened opportunities to explore para sport and meet loads of different para-athletes – and that’s crucial because it develops so many different skills and you end up being part of a community that really is something special.

“So please take advantage of the Para Sport Festival, especially the insport Series day on Monday 8 July, and come and try out all the different sports that will be on offer. You might unlock your hidden talent, just like I did.”

Welsh para-athlete Kirsty Taylor said: “Creating a fun environment where disabled young people can try different activities, meet new people and enjoy playing sport is so important – and the Para Sport Festival allows young people to see others with similar disabilities to them and shows that everyone has a place in sport and can compete at the highest level. The festival is so exciting. It’s packed full of opportunities for young people to have a go at para sport as well as seeing many elite para-athletes on show!

“I realised that I could compete in disability sports at an event like this, then I trained with Disability Sports Wales for many years and now my sport has taken me all over the world. I love chatting to new people at competitions, seeing different cultures and pushing myself to be the best I can. Competing in disability sports brings me so much joy and this is a fantastic opportunity for everyone.”

Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council cabinet member, said: “We’re delighted to welcome back this outstanding event as part of a world-class summer of sport and events in Swansea. It promises to be a memorable and exciting few days for athletes, spectators, support teams, our local communities and those trying out some activities for the first time. The 2024 Para Sport Festival – together with the World Triathlon Para Series Swansea and IRONMAN 70.3 - will reinforce the city’s reputation as a welcoming, diverse sporting city, capable of hosting major events. We’ll continue to work with the event organisers to ensure that local people and businesses have every chance to plan for and to enjoy these exceptional events. We want to inspire local people to compete in sport and to enjoy it in other ways too.”

Robyn Wilkins, Disability Sport Wales Para Sport Festival Senior Officer, said: “Two years ago, Welsh Government, Disability Sport Wales and Swansea Council all came together and set out their aspirations to develop both participation and competitive opportunities for disabled people in Swansea.”

“As we reach our third year, we are delighted to see further growth in our competitive schedule whilst seeing returning faces showing just how successful previous years have been for the Para Sport Festival and the growing reputation of Swansea and Wales as a go-to host for elite para sport events. Again for 2024, will see the opportunities of free spectator tickets to all competitive events and live stream options.

“We are also pleased to announce that the Para Sport Festival events programme will also see the return of the SPAR insport Series event to highlight the range of inclusive grassroots opportunities to a greater audience. The SPAR insport Series will take place on the 8 July and kick off the week of Para Sport Festival events. With over twenty sports on offer, delivered by a network of Welsh and British National Governing Bodies of Sport and great local insport Clubs, the event will provide the perfect platform for individuals to find their own journey within inclusive physical activity and also create a buzz within Swansea for the rest of the week.

“With the Para Sport Festival being an initial three-year period, 2024 signals a great opportunity to showcase the growth the Para Sport Festival has undergone over the past three years.”

To register to compete and/or volunteer at the Para Sport Festival, please go to:

For more information, please contact Paul Evans DSW Communications Officer on: / 07710 743167

Topics in this article:
GeneralGrass Roots SportElite SportPara Sport FestivalSwanseaSPAR UK (AF Blakemore Ltd)


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