GAPS brings over 100 athletes and coaches to Birmingham
During this last week, the University of Birmingham was excited to host the GAPS camp, which has a specific focus on preparations, classifications and qualification for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The GAPS programme, the sport for social purpose initiative developed by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Griffith University, bought together over 120 para athletes, coaches and experts from 21 Commonwealth nations.
GAPS is a unique programme focused on supporting the development of emerging para athletes and coaches from the Commonwealth. It provides opportunities that empower coaches to support their athletes and the development of sport pathways across the Commonwealth.
The camp aims to connect peers, in order that they can gain knowledge through shared experiences and expert sessions. Athletes were challenged to try new training methods, push their boundaries to create a belief and a mindset that they can face whatever challenges are put in front of them.
The camp took place at Sport & Fitness and involved more than 40 students who volunteered their time to make it a success.
Since launching in the lead up to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, GAPS has built multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaborations with universities, sport organisations and government agencies. In addition to Griffith University in Australia and the University of Birmingham, it also includes Western University in Canada and Stellenbosch University in South Africa, who have expanded the reach of GAPS across the Commonwealth. It is supported by the Commonwealth Sport Foundation, UK Sport, the high-performance sport agency and PacificAus Sports, the Australian Government funded sporting opportunities programme.
The GAPS camp in Birmingham saw athletes and coaches engage with the three Commonwealth sports of para athletics, powerlifting, and para table tennis across a week of wide-ranging practical and classroom-based activity. In total there were 61 athletes and 40 coaches from 21 Commonwealth nations.
I am delighted that the GAPS programme is back for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The GAPS programme ensures that the athletes and coaches participating have an opportunity to get to the upcoming Commonwealth Games successfully, are able to enjoy themselves and go back to their nations to showcase what they were able to achieve at a Games to inspire others to do the same.
As the attendees enjoy the world-class facilities and experience, I would like to thank our new-and-returning partners to the GAPS programme who make the camps possible.
I look forward to seeing some of the 130 attendees in Birmingham this week returning to shine at the Games in the summer. – CGF President Dame Louise Martin
With less than 100 days to go to the start of Birmingham 2022, the C&E team are extremely proud to be continuing to support all events, which are leading to this once-in-a-generation opportunity.
It has been an absolute privilege to be able to help organise the GAPS camp this week.
“Having the opportunity to support the developmental journeys of so many athletes and coaches from around the Commonwealth is amazing. The chance for both the staff and student volunteers to support this has also provided valuable real-world experience and learning for everyone.
“I have no doubt that this is not just changing the lives of individuals who are participating on the camp but also impacting the way that we here at the university think about the barriers to participation and how they can be removed. – University of Birmingham Director of The Graduate School of Sport and Professional Practice Barry Drust