Para Archery

Para Archery New Zealand

The first archery competition for those with physical impairments was held for recovering veterans at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England 1948. Participants from other Nations became more involved with Para archery over the years and it became the precursor to the Paralympic Games. In 1960 the first Paralympiad was held in Rome, and Para archery was one of the original Paralympic sports. Para archery has remained on the Paralympic programme ever since.

The sport has three different classifications. Archery is open to athletes with a physical impairment, who may shoot with assistive devices allowed under classification rules, if required. Para archery is available in both Recurve and Compound. Unlike the Olympic Games, Para Archery has both Compound and Recurve in the Paralympics. Para athletes can compete seated in a wheelchair, or from a standing position. Check the World Archery page to find out more.

New Zealand Paralympian Neroli Fairhall competed in Archery at the Paralympic Games in 1972, 1980, 1988 and 2000. She also became the first disabled athlete to compete in an Olympic Games when she competed in the women’s archery event at the 1984 Los Angeles 1984 Olympics. It was yet another remarkable achievement in a unique career. Two years previously, at Brisbane, Fairhall became the first disabled athlete to compete at a Commonwealth Games and, what’s more, she stunned sports followers by winning a gold medal.

Para archers in NZ tend to compete alongside able-bodied athletes - check where your local club is and for more information please contact the NZ Para Archery Liaison.

If you intend to compete using any assistance device or you are considering competing in Para Archery events then please make contact with the Para Liaison ([email protected]). They will help keep you informed or potential events, funding and changes in classification processes and requirements as well as putting you in contact with other like minded Para Archers. 

In our downloads section on this page you can find:

World Archery Adaptive Equipment Resource Guide 2023

A document introducing Para Sport Classifications for athletes and support personnel to have a better understanding of classification in Para Sport.

A generic Medical Diagnostics Form for disabled archers to have completed by their doctor and have returned to the Paralympics Association, with the requested supporting information, so that a provisional, temporary classification can be allocated to them.


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LevelUp is a series of online modules for coaching disabled athletes no matter whether you are just starting out or want to grow your skills. These modules will help you gain confidence, knowledge, capability and creativity to coach and support Para athletes.

LevelUp is a free and accessible coaching modules – available on Sports Tutor, for coaches to learn in their own time, at their own pace! The nine online modules compliment sport-specific resources and cover the Paralympic Movement, terminology, classification and coaching considerations for the eligible Para sport impairments. Plus, they feature a few of our own NZ Para athletes!

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